MoneyGram is launching a crypto-to-cash service pilot on the open-source public blockchain Stellar, which enables the money to be tokenised and transferred globally.
The launch follows MoneyGram’s existing partnership with Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), a non-profit organisation that supports the development of Stellar.
The new service leverages Stellar blockchain and Stellar-enabled digital wallets, MoneyGram’s retail agent network, and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC).
It will enable the settlement with MoneyGram to occur in near-real-time using USDC and is expected to accelerate the collection of funds, improve efficiencies and minimise risks while allowing cash users to access cryptocurrency through participating MoneyGram locations.
The users will be able to both load their digital wallets to access the digital economy and cash-out their digital currencies at MoneyGram locations.
The service is currently available to users in key remittance markets, including Canada, Kenya, the Philippines and the US. MoneyGram expects to roll out the global cash-out functionality by the end of this month.
MoneyGram chairman and CEO Alex Holmes said: “We’re thrilled to work alongside the Stellar Development Foundation on this important initiative to bring more opportunities to consumers around the world by making the worlds of crypto and local fiat currency compatible.
“It’s especially exciting to launch this service ahead of schedule due to the strong collaboration of our technology teams, and we look forward to further collaboration with SDF as we work on uncovering new ways to utilise blockchain to further streamline cross-border payments.”
The crypto-to-cash service is expected to bridge the gap between physical and digital currencies and pave the way for blockchain technology to further financial inclusion as it develops.
It will be offered as a zero-fee service for the first 12 months to drive its adoption.
Stellar Development Foundation CEO and executive director Denelle Dixon noted: “Today, almost 2 billion people rely on cash for their livelihood, with no options to access the digital economy.
“At the same time, a persistent pain point for crypto-native users is off-ramping cryptocurrency quickly and reliably. The groundbreaking nature of this service is how it solves problems for a range of users with varying needs around the world.”