Today, Coinme is excited to announce a partnership with MoneyGram, which will enable anyone to buy and sell bitcoin at select MoneyGram locations across the U.S. using the new Coinme app. This partnership allows for easy access to quickly and cheaply move between cash and bitcoin using the trusted and widely available infrastructure MoneyGram has built over the last 80 years. The service will be available in the U.S. to start at over 12,000 select MoneyGram locations. This initial launch is just the beginning — it will soon be available worldwide.
In 2014, the founders of Coinme fell in love with the promise of bitcoin and subsequently launched the first licensed bitcoin ATM in the United States. The price of bitcoin was $430 and there were less than 5 bitcoin ATMs worldwide. From there, Coinme grew to support a small network of Coinme bitcoin ATMs across the U.S.
However, we quickly realized that to achieve this mission at scale, we would need to adapt from operating hardware to developing a scalable enterprise-grade API that could crypto-enable existing financial infrastructure. The opportunity for bitcoin is immediate and Coinme can’t spend decades laying new tracks; instead, we aspired to retool what was already there.
After years of product development, third-party audits and exams, securing licenses from regulators, and working closely with MoneyGram, we are now integrated with one of the largest money exchangers in the world. Together, our systems will provide easy access to digital currencies and a better financial future for millions of people who have yet to join the digital currency revolution.
This collaboration is a landmark moment bringing us all closer to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for bitcoin as an alternative ‘electronic cash system.’ We are now on the cusp of addressing the problem of its adoption. Within twelve short years since Satoshi’s bitcoin whitepaper was published, our collective efforts are allowing millions of people access to bitcoin.
Our partnership with MoneyGram answers a clearly defined need of existing Coinme users and the greater bitcoin community. Converting cash into bitcoin has always been challenging and expensive, and is perhaps one of the key barriers preventing the wide adoption of bitcoin.
We previously addressed and solved these issues with our existing cash-to-bitcoin network with Coinstar, currently available at nearly 6,000-and-growing locations across the United States. Now, we will utilize another existing financial rail, MoneyGram, to allow for the easy and affordable purchase or sale of bitcoin with cash. With more people interested in bitcoin adoption more than ever before, Coinme provides simple and inexpensive onramps and offramps to bitcoin with cash, whether at your local grocery store or retail money services location.
Coinme is a mission-driven organization that believes bitcoin should work in service of the people — all people — by being affordable and accessible to everyone, everywhere.
While anyone can own bitcoin for less than a dollar, the actual ownership of bitcoin is limited by its disconnect from the everyday economy, with most of the world still cash-based. While media headlines scream with the promise of institutional money flowing into the crypto economy, and religiously track the price of BTC, Coinme is more concerned with making it accessible to the world’s working class, and the majority of Americans who still operate in cash. These are the same people who are most affected by the current financial system’s inequities.
At present, less than two percent of the world’s population owns bitcoin, which is similar to the number of people who had internet access in the mid-90s. By cryptocurrency-enabling existing financial networks already serving millions of people, Coinme can democratize access to the world’s most powerful financial technology of our time while providing everyone an equal opportunity to a better financial future.
Together, we rise.