Shares of MoneyGram International (MGI) soared Tuesday after blockchain startup Ripple said it plans to invest up to $50 million in the company.
Ripple, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, said it has agreed to buy $30 million of MoneyGram shares and warrants to buy stock at $4.10 a share. The deal also includes additional warrants for up to $20 million of newly issued stock, also at $4.10 a share.
The deal comes amid a wave of recent announcements about the future of payments, in particular non-cash ones.
Facebook (FB) last week announced that it was developing its own cryptocurrency and payment system called Libra, backed by a consortium of large industry players and investment firms. The company revealed details in a white paper released Tuesday.
For MoneyGram and Ripple, it's about the currency itself rather than the system. MoneyGram already services 200 countries and territories, with roughly $600 billion processed in the global remittance market.
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The two companies plan to work together to both expand beyond using traditional foreign exchange markets, which requires pre-funding accounts, and to reduce settlement fees as well as settlement times - to pennies and seconds from dollars and minutes.
For trading platforms like CMC Markets, both MoneyGram's and Facebook's cryto forays spell further legitimacy for non-fiat currencies -- and for trading them.
"At CMC Markets we are constantly evaluating the inclusion of all types of tradable securities on our platform," said Michael Yeung, Head of CMC Markets Canada. "The ongoing development of different types of non-fiat currencies and their legitimization is something we continuously monitor and explore making available to our clients -- and have already done so in regions like the U.K."
Shares of MoneyGram ended the trading day Tuesday up 167.6% at $3.88.