MoneyGram inks partnership with Coinme to sell bitcoin at its locations

Money transfer firm MoneyGram will now accept bitcoin with the help of crypto exchange Coinme. 

Users will now be able to buy the cryptocurrency and withdraw in cash at MoneyGram kiosks in the U.S. starting this week. There are plans to expand internationally in the back half of the year. 

The idea is to leverage MoneyGram's peer-to-peer network to expand access to bitcoin and "potentially other digital currencies" by creating more access points, according to the announcement. There are only about 30,000 cryptocurrency kiosks in the U.S., and MoneyGram locations will now function as additional point-of-sale locations to buy and sell crypto.

Coinme will act as the proprietary exchange and provide its custody technology. The firm is the second-largest bitcoin ATM operator in the United States. It recently partnered with Coinstar, the kiosk manufacturer, to set up machines in grocery stores across the country.

MoneyGram previously partnered with Ripple to use the digital asset XRP for foreign exchange settlement. Ripple had an equity position in MoneyGram as part of the agreement. MoneyGram suspended Ripple's use of the platform earlier this year due to an ongoing lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.