MoneyGram International, one of the world’s largest cross-border transfer services, is partnering with the Stellar blockchain to create a stablecoin-based platform for money transfers. The new service will allow Stellar wallet users to send Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) to recipients, who will be able to cash them out for fiat currency through the MoneyGram network.
“We’re trying to be a bridge from the crypto world to the fiat world,” MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said in an interview.
Holmes also said MoneyGram is in talks with third-party companies that provide digital wallets in El Salvador alongside the government-backed Chivo wallets, which were introduced when the country made Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender last year. Through a deal with one of those companies, MoneyGram would be able to compete for BTC transfers as well.
“If a country like El Salvador is going to make Bitcoin seamless with US dollars in country, I think that consumers, through MoneyGram, should be able to transfer Bitcoin to El Salvador or transfer dollars and convert them to Bitcoin,” Holmes told Bloomberg. “If that’s where the world is going, let’s participate in that world and let’s see how we can help fulfill that opportunity.”
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MoneyGram had a previous deal with Ripple Labs, which once owned a large package of its stock. Ripple and MoneyGram severed their relationship in March 2021 shortly after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Ripple. MoneyGram’s involvement with Ripple resulted in a class-action suit against the payment service in March 2021.
MoneyGram and Stellar began working together in October 2021 and launched a pilot program in November. Earlier that summer, reports circulated that Stellar was interested in a takeover of MoneyGram.