Cross-border peer-to-peer payments provider MoneyGram has unveiled plans to to introduce a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet, signalling a strategic shift into the digital asset domain, through a partnership with Stellar.

The initiative is meant to target the exchange between traditional fiat currencies and USDC, a prominent stablecoin launched by Circle. MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes has highlighted the firm’s tracjectory over the past half-decade, noting it has been marked by a concerted effort at digital evolution as the firm moves to counter “misconceptions” that it will be replaced by products that don’t rely on cash.

The non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet was developed in collaboration with Stellar, in a partnership that will allow users to buy and hold the stablecoin. In Holmes’ view, delving into the cryptocurrency ecosystem represents MoneyGram’s continuing commitment to harness the potentials of blockchain.

Notably, the wallet comes with rigorous KYC (Know Your Customer) stipulations and will only be compatible with other MoneyGram wallets. With the wallet, according to the firm’s announcement, users will be able to “visit any participating MoneyGram location to cash-out their digital assets to increase the utility of their holdings. “

It details that the wallet is set to be rollet out next year and will see MoneyGram expand its capabilities and “introduce new features within the app that will help further bridge the worlds of international money transfers and blockchain payments.”

Notably, MoneyGram is a former Ripple partner. The partnership between both firm ended back in 2021, but the reason behind the decision to terminate the agreement wasn’t disclosed. The deal ended after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Ripple and two of its executives alleging they sold unregistered securities in the form of XRP.

The partnership started in 2019, when Ripple bought a $30 million stake in MoneyGram. The deal allowed the latter to use the former’s cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement products.

Featured image via Unsplash.