Stellar Development Foundation Invests in International Transfer Giant MoneyGram

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has recently become a minority investor in MoneyGram International (MGI) during its go-private transaction with Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP). This announcement was made by Denelle Dixon on August 15, 2023, via the official Stellar blog.

SDF’s association with MoneyGram dates back to 2021 when they established a commercial partnership. However, their collaboration began even earlier, in 2019, when they initiated the development of tools that later evolved into “MoneyGram Access.” This partnership has been instrumental in positioning the Stellar network as a prominent player in the cash-to-crypto domain, offering seamless avenues for individuals to transition value into and out of the digital realm.

The collaboration between the two entities provided SDF with a comprehensive understanding of MoneyGram’s operations, future plans, and the company’s vision for digital transformation. This knowledge solidified SDF’s confidence in MoneyGram, leading them to seize the opportunity to invest when it presented itself.

The investment was sourced from SDF’s cash treasury, which is designated to support the foundation’s operations. Notably, this is the first investment of its nature made from the SDF’s treasury. Additionally, as part of the investment, SDF has secured a seat on MoneyGram’s Board of Directors. Denelle Dixon expressed her pride in representing SDF on the board, which comprises a diverse set of leaders from the realms of payments, financial services, and technology.

This strategic investment aligns with SDF’s mission to foster equitable access to financial services. It also enables SDF to play a pivotal role in MoneyGram’s digital journey, especially in areas like digital business expansion, blockchain technology exploration, and other fintech endeavors. The partnership underscores MoneyGram’s renewed commitment to transitioning into a leading digital-forward entity in the fintech space.

Both SDF and MoneyGram anticipate a promising future, with the potential for further collaboration and growth in the financial technology sector.

Both Stellar and Ripple XRP target the international payment and transfer sector, each touting their blockchain as the premier network for such transactions. In its early days, Stellar was perceived as a fork of XRP, given they once shared the same codebase.

Stellar ($XLM), a distinguished entity in the cryptocurrency world, was co-founded by Jed McCaleb, who had previously served as the CTO of Ripple XRP. McCaleb is also known for founding the once-renowned Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, which unfortunately later suffered a significant hack. Over time, Stellar has established a unique position in the digital currency arena, with the Stellar Development Foundation at its helm, championing equitable access to global financial services.

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Litecoin Enters Top 20, Soared Over 28% in The Last 7 Days, Here Is Why

According to CoinMarketCap, Litecoin’s price shows an impressive bullish trend, which is worth analyzing.  The token price has risen by 28.05% in the past seven days and has subsequently entered the top 20, as per the price-tracking website for crypto assets.

At the time of writing, the price of Litecoin (LTC) was $68.65, with a 24-hour trading volume of $1,400,844,453. The token has been down 1.59% over the last 24 hours. The cryptocurrency is ranked #19, with a live market cap of $4,912,922,846, according to CoinMarketCap.

On October 21, Litecoin was worth $51.18 per coin. Like many cryptocurrencies, the coin has been affected by the overall crypto market downturn and is down 74% in the past year and 65% year to date. In comparison, Bitcoin is down about 69% over the past year and 59% year to date.

Litecoin opened in 2022 at $150.80, and today it is down by 54.39%. At the time of writing, the LTC price is $68.65, up 0.76% from the previous trading day.

On November 1, the price of Litecoin jumped nearly 8% after the payments company MoneyGram enabled users to trade and store several crypto assets, including Litecoin, on its app.

Besides Litecoin, Moneygram also allows users to trade and store Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, with Litecoin having a much smaller market cap and much less of a following, the news did not move Bitcoin and Ethereum in the same way it boosted Litecoin.

Moneygram announced that users in almost all US states and the District of Columbia can purchase, sell and hold Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies. As a result, Litecoin has recently disassociated itself from altcoins and posted a massive rally against Bitcoin.

The price of Litecoin is rallying after temporary decoupling from the crypto market. The token has experienced an increase in the number of addresses holding 1,000 or more LTCs. Litecoin has added 314 new whale addresses; these wallets hold large volumes of LTC and contribute to a huge increase in on-chain activity.

The recent activity in Litecoin price comes after months of consolidation at the $55 level. Litecoin value is now past the key resistance level at $60, which has served as a barrier to a breakout on several occasions.

Besides the price boost, a few days ago, Litecoin mining difficulty set a new record high, peaking at just under 18 million hashes. Blockchian.News reported the matter on November 6. The rise in Litecoin’s mining difficulty means the competition rises as more miners enter the crypto network to reap the rewards.

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MoneyGram CEO Sees Stablecoin As Future of Payments as Service Needs Grow

Alex Holmes, the CEO of traditional cross-border payments giant MoneyGram, admitted that stablecoins are likely to be the future of payments because of their growing market demands. 

In an interview with Bloomberg media, the executive said that he sees stablecoins might become a major medium of exchange.

The growth of the total supply of stablecoins in the previous year has shown stability, which some market participants like Holmes and his MoneyGram believe signals a long-term path for more success and innovation of existing crypto-collateralized Stablecoins.

As a result, MoneyGram disclosed on Sunday its plans to widen the adoption of digital currencies. The popular International money transfer services company said that it is making preparations to launch a service, through a partnership with the Stellar blockchain, which would allow users to send stablecoins and easily convert them to hard currency.

During the interview, Holmes said: “The world of crypto and the world of fiat are not really compatible today. We’re trying to be a bridge from the crypto world to the fiat world.”

Holmes further stated that once the service is fully launched, users with digital wallets on the Stellar blockchain would be able to convert their holdings into USDC stablecoin, which can then be cashed out through MoneyGram’s network.

Stablecoins are a type of digital currency with values pegged to traditional assets such as the U.S. dollar or commodities. Their increase in demand has accelerated discussion by central banks across the globe about digital versions of their national currencies.

However, stablecoins, which are designed to maintain a 1-to-1 relationship with a commodity or currency like the US dollar, have recently come under heightened scrutiny. This month’s plunge of the TerraUSD stablecoin has put an unfavourable light on such kinds of digital currencies and triggered market instability.

As reported by Blockchain.News, in October last year, MoneyGram started working with the Stellar blockchain network to create instant money transfers using Circle’s USDC stablecoin.

The two companies began with a pilot in the fourth quarter of last year. They expect to gradually roll out the ledger-based stablecoin bridge between cryptocurrencies and local currencies this year with a view toward connecting MoneyGram’s 150 million customers.

The news came as a slap in the face for Ripple, the crypto payments network whose long-standing relationship with MoneyGram terminated after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Ripple in December 2020. The SEC said that Ripple violated federal securities laws in selling $1.3 billion in XRP in the past.

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Moneygram buys 4% stake in crypto ATM operator Coinme

Money transmission network MoneyGram now has a minority investment in crypto ATM operator Coinme following a Series A funding round.

In a Wednesday announcement, MoneyGram said it had purchased a roughly 4% ownership stake in Coinme — likely more than $764,000, given its valuation of $19.1 million in June — as part of a strategic investment in the crypto company. The investment follows a May 2021 partnership between the two firms aimed at expanding access to crypto-fiat exchanges.

“We continue to be bullish on the vast opportunities that exist in the ever-growing world of cryptocurrency and our ability to operate as a compliant bridge to connect digital assets to local fiat currency,” said MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes. “Our investment in Coinme further strengthens our partnership and compliments our shared vision to expand access to digital assets and cryptocurrencies.”

Currently, U.S.-based MoneyGram users are able to exchange their Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto holdings for cash at point-of-sale outlets. Coinme’s website reports more than 23,000 ATM locations in the United States, including MoneyGram and Coinstar.

While MoneyGram seemingly winds up its partnership with Coinme — currently only operating in the United States — it scaled back its collaboration with blockchain-based payments firm Ripple Labs in 2021. The two firms inked a strategic partnership agreement in 2019, processing billions of dollars through Ripple’s RippleNet and On-Demand Liquidity services. However, MoneyGram suspended the partnership in February 2021 following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing a complaint against Ripple, alleging securities violations.

Related: MoneyGram launches USDC settlement using the Stellar blockchain

At the time of publication, shares of MoneyGram stock (MGI) are trading for $7.55, having fallen roughly 2.5% in the last 24 hours.