MoneyGram has teamed up with Coinme enabling Bitcoin on/off ramping from physical locations in the United States, as per a release. Plans are in place to expand the setup to international markets later on this year.
The move sees MoneyGram return to cryptocurrency after dissolving its partnership with Ripple earlier this year. By partnering with Coinme, the firm has signaled that cryptocurrency remains an integral part of its future plans.
Bitcoin ramping will soon be available at 12,000 MoneyGram locations
Coinme describes itself as a cash-to-crypto global network. It offers Bitcoin on/off ramping through Coinstar kiosks, which are typically used to convert change into paper notes.
The tie-in with MoneyGram will see an expansion of that service by utilizing MoneyGram sites across the U.S. This will bring Bitcoin to 12,000 additional point-of-sale locations.
Coinme CEO Neil Bergquist said MoneyGram has been expanding its P2P network for over 80 years. By combining his firm’s API technology into the mix, millions of people will benefit from a trusted and easy-to-use ramping service.
“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.”
Alex Holmes, the MoneyGram CEO, said this cooperation would open up his business to a whole new customer segment, also likely resulting in additional footfall to MoneyGram locations.
Access to cryptocurrency is expanding
Thanks to companies such as Coinme, accessing Bitcoin is becoming easier by the day.
Although a significant component of Coinme’s business relates to Coinstar kiosks, usually found in supermarkets, Bergquist was quick to point out his company is more than just ATMs.
Instead, Bergquist explained his approach by saying the use of existing rails, including the Coinstar and MoneyGram networks, is more efficient than building infrastructure from scratch.
“For clarity, Coinme is not in the business of bitcoin ATMs. We developed an enterprise API that “crypto-enables” legacy financial systems. ATMs are one component of that legacy financial infrastructure that we are cryptocurrency-enabling.
What’s more, due to economic uncertainty and the ongoing panic situation, demand for Bitcoin is rising as people look for dollar alternatives. Recent times have seen a spike in demand from novice buyers who are typically tech adverse.
Bergquist says that Coinme is well-positioned to capitalize on this by offering noobies convenient and safe ramping at their local grocery store or nearest MoneyGram location.
With that, Bergquist is confident that his firm can achieve its goal of becoming the largest fully licensed crypto-cash exchange globally.
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