Cross-border transfer service MoneyGram officially launched its stablecoin-powered payment channel on Friday, giving users the ability to send USD Coin (USDC) payments worldwide that can be withdrawn as cash by recipients.
The service is being rolled out across several key remittance markets, including Canada, the United States, Kenya and the Philippines, Circle and MoneyGram announced Friday. Global cash-out functionality will be available by the end of June. To encourage adoption, the USDC transfer service will carry zero fees for the first 12 months.
As Cointelegraph reported, MoneyGram’s new transfer service was built on the Stellar (XLM) blockchain and allows Stellar wallet users to send USDC to recipients around the world. The service is intended to bridge the gap between digital assets and physical cash currency, as well as demonstrate the utility of crypto payments.
It’s official: @DenelleDixon announces the launch of @MoneyGram and @StellarOrg‘s crypto-to-cash service. pic.twitter.com/vzAzlBNDxD
— Stellar (@StellarOrg) June 10, 2022
Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle Dixon said the new transfer channel will help the world’s unbanked population access the digital economy for the first time. While estimates vary, the World Bank says that roughly 1.7 billion adults are unbanked, which means they lack access to an account at a financial institution. Whether through decentralized finance, central bank digital currencies or crypto-powered transfer and settlement services, blockchain technology has been posited as a potential solution to financial exclusion.
Related: Blockchain tech offers multiple paths to financial inclusion for unbanked
In related news, Circle announced Friday that it had a definitive agreement to acquire crypto infrastructure platform CYBAVO, which it believes will further pave the way for USDC adoption.
Circle’s USDC is the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization and maintains a one-for-one dollar peg backed by cash and short-dated U.S. Treasuries.