MoneyGram Signs Partnership Deal with Stellar and Circle

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  • MoneyGram has signed a deal with Stellar and Circle to send USDC tokens on the Stellar network
  • MoneyGram famously had a deal with Ripple, but that never took off and was pulled seven months ago
  • Stellar is essentially a Ripple clone from former Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb

MoneyGram has signed a deal with Stellar and Circle to create a blockchain payment system. The partnership, which will see Circle’s USDC being tested on the Stellar blockchain for remittance payments, comes seven months after MoneyGram’s controversial deal with Ripple ended following Ripple’s indictment by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The MoneyGram/Steller/Circle deal is different in its structure however, with the stablecoin being sent on the Stellar network rather than the XRP token being used to communicate payments.

“Transformational” Deal Heralded

MoneyGram, Stellar and Circle announced the deal yesterday, with MoneyGram acting as the on-ramp and off-ramp for Stellar-powered USDC remittances. The project is in pilot phase which will run for the rest of 2021, with a rollout in 2022 on the cards if it is successful. Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, called the deal “transformational”, with the deal coming a year after Stellar added support for USDC.
MoneyGram Deal Steeped in Irony

There are a number of ironies associated with this deal, not least because of Ripple’s association with MoneyGram and the fact that Stellar is essentially a copy of Ripple created by its former co-founder, Jed McCaleb. Ripple made a big splash about having signed a deal with MoneyGram back in August 2019, with supporters claiming that it was the biggest example of imminent mass adoption, only for it to be revealed seven months later that Ripple had in fact paid MoneyGram $50 million to integrate xRapid into their network.

The MoneyGram/Ripple deal ended when the SEC came for Ripple earlier this year, leaving Stellar free to swoop in and stage a remarkable coup. Not only has Stellar usurped Ripple but this is a case of true integration into the MoneyGram network, with the Stellar blockchain being used and the USDC token running on it, rather than the volatile XRP token being used to push payments.