Major US money transfer company MoneyGram has teamed up with bitcoin (BTC) kiosk business Coinme to facilitate buying and selling this most popular cryptocurrency with cash through a network comprising thousands of new point-of-sale locations in the US and select foreign markets this year.
Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, said in a statement that the alliance “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”.
In the second half of 2021, the partnership aims to expand to select markets abroad, according to the statement. The companies estimate there are currently around 20,000 cryptocurrency kiosks in the world which would make their venture a powerful market player. MoneyGram’s focus on cross-border transactions might further boost the partnership’s foothold in foreign markets.
Neil Bergquist, CEO of Coinme, commented that through integrating MoneyGram’s global infrastructure “with our licensed crypto exchange technology, we can enable the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies across its system using cash.”
The achieved integration between MoneyGram and Coinme “will provide a fast and easy way for customers to purchase bitcoin with cash and withdraw bitcoin holdings in cash. It is specially designed for customers who may be interested in utilizing bitcoin for the first time,” the statement said.
Bergquist told Cryptonews.com that, starting today, Coinme is launching some 12,000 retail locations where customers will be enabled to buy and sell bitcoin with cash at select MoneyGram locations across the US.
“Our full MoneyGram US rollout will feature over 20,000 locations and should be fully operational in the coming weeks. We plan to launch the MoneyGram service internationally soon after,” the CEO said. “Currently, our Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks are available in over 6,000 locations throughout 47 states.”
The latest development comes after XRP-affiliated Ripple announced its partnership with MoneyGram ended for now. Under the expired deal, MoneyGram was using the XRP token in international settlement deals. However, as a result of Ripple’s legal woes with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the money transfer business is now facing a class-action lawsuit based on an allegation that the company made false and/or misleading statements about its partnership with Ripple and XRP’s legal status.
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(Updated at 13:33 UTC with a quote from Neil Bergquist, CEO of Coinme.)