While the cryptocurrency market has recently experienced some fluctuation, there are still major moves being made to facilitate mainstream transactions with the alternative currency in day-to-day life. The most recent is an announcement that MoneyGram will be enabling functionality that will allow holders of cryptocurrency to trade their investments for cash.
To do this, MoneyGram will be joining forces with popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinme to pioneer a feature that will allow individuals to either buy cryptocurrency with cash, or withdraw it from physical locations in the U.S. This demonstrates a significant movement from mainstream financial institutions who are increasingly showing acceptance of digital currencies. In as little as a few weeks, Coinme users will have access to the new features across 12,000 retail locations across the U.S. In return for the convenience, MoneyGram and Coinme will charge 4% of all consumer transactions plus $2.75 in fees per transaction. Any MoneyGram transactions conducted in Walmart will incur an additional $2 fee.
On top of this, Coinme also intends to allow bitcoin trades across 20,000 stores throughout 32 states by Q3 of this year according to the company’s CEO, Neil Bergquist. Currently, Coinme already enables cash-for-bitcoin exchanges at approximately 6,000 supermarket kiosks. At present, less than 3,000 crypto kiosks and tellers permit users to sell their bitcoin in person despite buying being facilitated by 17,000 locations. This marks an opportunity for MoneyGram. CEO Alex Holmes, said, “The ability for anyone to walk into a MoneyGram location and load that wallet or unload that wallet is a pretty exciting service opportunity.”
MoneyGram will be the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model for consumers and investors through its relationship with Coinme. This comes on top of a slew of developments in the crypto world indicating financial acknowledgement from big institutions. This includes giants like Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy investing company funds into bitcoin; companies like PayPal allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies; and Mastercard declaring that it would eventually accept select cryptocurrencies.
What remains to be seen is whether or not this wind of support for cryptocurrency will withstand the current unstable market conditions. No doubt, crypto-supporting innovations from the likes of MoneyGram indicate potential for further adoption and stability ahead.