MoneyGram is making moves again… Last year MoneyGram partnered with Ripple. Ripple created a digital asset (XRP) and a payment network to make international money transfers faster and cheaper. And MoneyGram’s deployment of Ripple’s technology reduced the cost of its cross-border, cross-currency transactions by up to 70%. The deal with Ripple was making a material impact on its business.
However, the two companies decided to put their relationship on pause while Ripple works through an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit. Ripple appears to have the upper hand in that lawsuit. Still, the MoneyGram/Ripple partnership is on hold for now. But it seems MoneyGram is now a big believer in blockchain technology and digital assets. The money transfer giant just partnered with digital asset exchange Coinme to enable the buying and selling of bitcoin at MoneyGram kiosks. This is big news.
Remember, MoneyGram is an international business. It has kiosks all over the world. This move will put bitcoin in front of millions of MoneyGram customers, many of whom have never dealt with the digital asset before. And that’s just the start. Coinme happens to be the second-largest bitcoin ATM operator in the United States. And it is going to partner with CoinStar to set up bitcoin ATMs in grocery stores across the country.
This will put bitcoin in front of even more American consumers. Incredible. This is the first time that bitcoin will be made readily available to people even if they aren’t tech-savvy enough to deal with online exchanges and digital wallets. So these are interesting developments. And they are certainly bullish for the blockchain ecosystem. I will be following MoneyGram’s quarterly earnings reports going forward to see if it talks about the rate of bitcoin adoption it’s seeing. That would give us insight into how these kiosks and ATMs are being received. Stay tuned.
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