MoneyGram, Coinme Team Up to Let U.S. Customers Withdraw Crypto in Cash

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The continued mainstreaming of digital currency took another step forward on Wednesday when money-transfer company MoneyGram said it will let customers in the U.S. withdraw their cryptocurrency in cash.

See: Will Bitcoin Ever Be Accepted Widely as a Form of Payment?
Find: Breaking Down the Basics of Cryptocurrency

The new offering will operate through a partnership between MoneyGram and Coinme, a Bitcoin exchange and ATM operator, CNBC reported. New and existing Coinme users will be able to buy crypto with cash or withdraw it from MoneyGram’s thousands of U.S. brick-and-mortar locations. The feature will be expanded internationally during the latter half of the year.

MoneyGram’s announcement follows similar moves by other financial services firms to get into crypto — including PayPal, which now lets U.S. users trade crypto and use it to pay at millions of its merchants. Credit card giants Mastercard and Visa also have started supporting cryptocurrencies, CNBC reports, while companies as diverse as Tesla, Square and MicroStrategy have begun using company funds to purchase Bitcoin.

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MoneyGram rival Western Union hasn’t said publicly whether it will support crypto.

See: 4 Best Places to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
Find: 14% of Americans Own Crypto Right Now – Here’s Who’s Actually Doing It Right

The move by MoneyGram continues a years-long strategy to become more digital, according to CNBC. In 2018, it teamed up with blockchain start-up Ripple to pilot the cryptocurrency XRP in cross-border payments, but that hit a roadblock when the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ripple with conducting a $1.3 billion illegal securities offering.

As Entrepreneur reported earlier this week, shares of MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) spiked nearly 23% on Friday and another 6.85% Monday amid excitement over the company’s digital capabilities. On a first-quarter conference call, MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said the company’s Q1 digital business reached $60 million for the quarter. Digital transactions accounted for nearly one-third of all money transfer transactions, or about double the percentage at the start of 2020.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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