raditional cross-border payments giant MoneyGram is working with the Stellar blockchain network to create instant money transfers using Circle’s USDC stablecoin, the companies announced Wednesday.
The firms will start with a pilot in the fourth quarter of this year. Early 2022 will see a gradual rollout of the ledger-based stablecoin bridge between crypto and local currencies with a view toward connecting MoneyGram’s 150 million or so consumers.
“Working with MoneyGram allows end consumers to have on- and off-ramps everywhere that MoneyGram’s vast agent network supports this. So this is just transformational in terms of being able to exchange crypto for fiat and fiat for crypto,” Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, said in an interview. “We’re trying to go as big as we can.”
The news will come as a slap in the face for Ripple, the cryptocurrency payments network whose longstanding relationship with MoneyGram wound down after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Ripple in December 2020, saying the firm violated federal securities laws.