MoneyGram to allow retail Bitcoin buying in the US

MoneyGram to allow retail Bitcoin buying in the US

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Crypto adoption among mainstream payment service companies continues to grow with MoneyGram set to join the list.

In a release issued on Wednesday, the global payment service announced a partnership with crypto exchange and Bitcoin (BTC) ATM operator Coinme Inc., to allow U.S. customers to withdraw their cryptocurrency holdings for cash across its point-of-sale outlets in the country.

As part of the announcement, MoneyGram also revealed that customers will be able to buy BTC and crypto in an expansion of the existing crypto-to-cash model pioneered by the almost 20,000 cryptocurrency ATMs around the world.

Commenting on the development, MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes remarked:

“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.”

For MoneyGram, the ability to buy Bitcoin across its brick-and-mortar retail outlets might be a significant development for would-be first-time crypto users daunted by interacting with online cryptocurrency exchanges.

MoneyGram’s announcement also likely offers another indication of the potential for a unified money transmission licensing regime, especially for cryptocurrencies.

Back in September 2020, 48 U.S. states agreed to establish a single regulatory framework for money transmitters — a move with significant implications for 78 fintech businesses like MoneyGram with an annual turnover above $1 trillion.

MoneyGram debuting physical Bitcoin buying across its locations in the U.S. is also another example of fintech and payment service firms warming up to cryptocurrencies. From stables like PayPal to Visa and MasterCard, debuting some form of crypto-related feature is becoming a norm across the industry.

Back in March, PayPal began allowing U.S. customers to pay with Bitcoin across millions of online merchants on the platform. In April, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said the company’s crypto commerce was on course to reach $200 million in a few months.

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