The MoneyGram logo was seen on a wound in San Ramon, California on March 26, 2019.
Smith Collection | Gado | Getty Images
MoneyGram allows people in the US to withdraw their cryptocurrency holdings for cash. This is another step from incumbent financial institutions to embracing new digital currencies.
The money transfer company said Wednesday it has partnered with Bitcoin Exchange and ATM operator Coinme. In the coming weeks, new and existing Coinme users will be able to purchase crypto with cash or withdraw them at thousands of MoneyGram brick-and-mortar locations in the US
The companies plan to expand the offer internationally in the second half of 2021.
“This innovative partnership opens our business to a completely 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 the local fiat currency,” said Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram. said in a statement.
Financial services companies have increasingly taken steps in the crypto space. With PayPal, US users can now trade cryptocurrencies and use them to pay for millions of their merchants. Mastercard announced that it will support selected cryptocurrencies in its network starting this year, while Visa now supports payment processing in crypto with the US dollar-backed token USD Coin.
Meanwhile, Tesla, Square and MicroStrategy are among the companies that have followed the unusual strategy of using company funds to buy Bitcoin. Tesla placed a $ 1.5 billion bet on the cryptocurrency earlier this year, and its holdings were around $ 2.5 billion at the end of March.
That growing adoption by major crypto institutions is happening amid a wild rally in Bitcoin, Ether, and other digital currencies this year. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is up over 90% so far this year – although it is down around 15% from an all-time high of over $ 64,000 in April – while the second largest coin, Ether, is up over 470% .
However, there are growing concerns about a possible speculative bubble in the crypto market. Dogecoin, a digital currency that started as a hoax in 2013, has grown a whopping 10,000% since the start of the year.
MoneyGram and Western Union are two of the most popular cabling services in the United States
Western Union hasn’t made any public announcements as to whether it could support crypto. In 2018, MoneyGram entered into a partnership with the blockchain start-up Ripple to test the cryptocurrency XRP in cross-border payments. However, the two companies put their bond on hold after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Ripple of making an illegal $ 1.3 billion securities offer. Ripple bought a $ 30 million stake in MoneyGram in 2019.