Coinme announces teaming with MoneyGram to allow Bitcoin to be traded for cash in person

MoneyGram will pilot the new service with Coinme at select locations in Seattle, WA; Austin, TX and Salt Lake City. MoneyGram customers who are Coinme customers can use this to turn their bitcoin or other digital assets into cash.

MoneyGram will test and evaluate the efficiency and reliability of digital currency through Coinme’s exchange platform, while also educating MoneyGram agents on how to offer their customers a new experience of sending remittances.

“This innovative partnership opens our business to an entirely new customer segment as we are the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge with Coinme to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency,” Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s chairman and CEO, said in a press release Wednesday. “Our unique, global network is an incredibly valuable asset, and we’re excited to open our platform to Coinme as we increasingly look to capture new growth by monetizing our network to new use-cases.”

Consumers will be able to conduct the transactions using bitcoin via MoneyGram’s website or mobile app. Customers who prefer to use paper currency can have their bitcoin exchanged for cash at any MoneyGram location in the U.S.

With less than 20,000 cryptocurrency kiosks in the world today, the MoneyGram and Coinme partnership will further expand access to bitcoin and potentially other digital currencies by creating thousands of new point-of-sale locations to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

“MoneyGram has spent more than 80 years building one of the world’s largest P2P payment networks,” Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s CEO, said in the release. “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.”

The arrangement represents “a major milestone for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities, and for the millions of people who will benefit from a trusted, easy and affordable onramp to digital currency,” Bergquist added.

Seattle-based Coinme has operated a licensed cryptocurrency exchange since 2014, saying its mission was to make the process easier for buying digital currencies for all consumers. The company will power over 20,000 physical locations through its partnerships with Coinstar and MoneyGram.

Its API helps “crypto-enable” legacy financial systems and make its consumer products suite available for a secure way to buy, sell, store and manage digital currencies.

MoneyGram says it has expanded its reach in serving nearly 150 million people across the globe over the past five years.

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