MoneyGram International Inc. has made an announcement that it will allow customers to purchase and sell Bitcoin using cash. Crypto converted to fiat can be withdrawn at thousands of its brick-and-mortar locations across the United States.
MoneyGram has collaborated with Coinme crypto exchange and Bitcoin ATM operator to enable the rollout of the new service. Through the partnership, Coinme stated that it will power over 20,000 physical locations operated by MoneyGram in the US.
“This innovative partnership opens our business to an entirely new customer segment as we are the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge with Coinme to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency,” Alex Holmes, MoneyGram CEO and chairman stated.
The plan to roll out the new service at MoneyGram locations in the United States is scheduled to take place within the next few weeks and the launch in international markets is set to happen in the second half of 2021.
MoneyGram aims to leverage its peer-to-peer -network to expand access to Bitcoin and “potentially other digital currencies” by establishing more access points. Currently, there are about 30,000 crypto kiosks in the United States and MoneyGram locations would serve additional point-of-sale locations to sell and purchase cryptocurrencies.
Coinme will serve as the proprietary exchange and offer its custody technology. The company is the second-largest Bitcoin ATM operator in the US. The firm recently partnered with kiosk manufacturer Coinstar to establish machines in grocery stores across the US.
Crypto Mainstream Adoption Growing
MoneyGram joins the rising number of financial service companies embracing the crypto space. The American money transfer firm currently serves 150 million people across the world in the last five years. In the United States, it is one of the most popular wiring services, besides Western Union.
MoneyGram’s partnership with Coinme follows a short-lived collaboration with Ripple. In 2018, MoneyGram entered a business partnership deal with Ripple to use XRP digital assets for foreign exchange settlement. However, MoneyGram terminated the use of Ripple on its platform earlier this year because of the ongoing lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
MoneyGram’s latest development reflects the firm’s persistent interest in crypto assets and follows a trend of financial service companies moving into the cryptocurrency space. Visa Inc., currently supports payment settlement in cryptocurrencies with the US dollar-backed token USD Coin. Mastercard announced that it would begin supporting particular crypto coins on its network this year. PayPal currently allows U.S users to buy and sell crypto assets and use them to pay at millions of its merchants worldwide.
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