MoneyGram has taken cryptocurrencies further into the mainstream as the company will allow buying and selling of Bitcoin for cash across thousands of physical locations in the United States.
The remittance-focused company announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme to facilitate the Bitcoin transactions services. Initially, the two partners will enable the cash transaction for Bitcoins across 12,000 MoneyGram locations but have plans to expand this network to 20,000 stores across 32 states by the third quarter.
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They are also considering expanding their reach outside of the US in the second half of this year.
“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’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Crypto ATMs Going Mainstream?
Many companies have built massive networks of cryptocurrency ATMs around the world, Coinme being a major player in the US. Though crypto ATMs make the digital currency purchasing process simple enough, the cost associated with it is too high.
According to Coindesk, the MoneyGram and Coinme duo will take 4 percent of every transaction, along with a flat fee of $2.75. Walmart-based MoneyGram locations will charge an extra $2.
When compared to the fees of crypto exchanges, these charges are extremely high. But they are definitely bringing cryptocurrencies to the masses.
“By integrating its global infrastructure with our licensed crypto exchange technology, we can enable the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies across its system using cash,” Coinme CEO, Neil Bergquist said.
This partnership is not the first crypto encounter of MoneyGram. It is also a partner of Ripple and took heavy investments from the blockchain company. MoneyGram, however, cut its ties with Ripple Labs following the US financial market regulator’s lawsuit, alleging XRP to be an unregistered security.
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