MoneyGram and Stellar Blockchain News Delivers XLM Support

Key Insights:

  • Stellar’s Lumen (XLM) was on the rise this morning, with XLM holders looking to end an eight-week losing streak.
  • News of MoneyGram supporting USD Coin (USDC) remittances on the Stellar blockchain delivered support.
  • Key technical indicators bullish. XLM sits above the 100-day EMA.

On Sunday, Stellar’s Lumen (XLM) rallied by 6.77%. Following a 1.91% gain on Saturday, XLM ended the week down by 3.25% to $0.1309.

Sunday’s rally came from broader crypto market support, with the upside coming despite the continued fallout from the collapse of TerraUST (UST) and Terra LUNA.

While an anticipated shift in the crypto regulatory landscape remains a threat, investors could begin to embrace the prospects of a more regimen sector.

Governments and regulators may look to strike a balance between support for innovation and the protection of investors. Some jurisdictions will likely be more pro-innovation than others, however.

MoneyGram and Stellar Blockchain Partner to Enable USDC Remittances

On Sunday, Bloomberg News reported news of MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI) planning to partner with Stellar blockchain to support stablecoin remittances and conversions to fiat money.

MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes reportedly said,

“The world of crypto and the world of fiat are not really compatible today. We’re trying to be a bridge from the crypto world to the fiat world.”

Holmes when on to say,

“Users with digital wallets on the Stellar blockchain will be able to convert their holdings into Circle Internet Financial’s USDC stablecoin, which can then be cashed out through MoneyGram’s network.”

The latest news comes in the wake of the TerraUSD (UST) collapse and the brief de-pegging of Tether (USDT) from the dollar.

Unlike UST, USD Coin (USDC) is fully backed by cash and short-dated US government obligations, ensuring a 1:1 peg with the US dollar.

XLM Price Action

At the time of writing, XLM was up 5.04% to $0.1375.

A bullish morning saw XLM rally to a morning high of $0.1417 before easing back to sub-$0.14 levels.

XLM broke through the First Major Resistance Level at $0.1341 and the Second Major Resistance Level at $0.1373.

XLM finds support on MoneyGram and Stellar news.
XLMUSD 300522 Daily Chart

Technical Indicators

XLM will need to avoid the Major Resistance Levels and the $0.1279 pivot to target the Third Major Resistance Level at $0.1467. XLM would also need broader crypto market support to break out from the morning high of $0.1417.

A fall through the Major Resistance Levels and the $0.1279 pivot would bring the First Major Support Level at $0.1247 into play.

Barring an extended sell-off throughout the day, XLM should avoid sub-$0.1240 and the Second Major Support Level at $0.1185.

An XLM return to $0.14 would support a run at $0.15.
XLMUSD 300522 Hourly Chart

The EMAs and the 4-hourly candlestick chart (below) send a bullish signal. At the time of writing, XLM sits above the 100-day EMA, currently at $0.1337. This morning, the 50-day EMA narrowed to the 100-day EMA. The 100-day EMA closed in on the 200-day EMA; XLM positive.

A move through the 200-day EMA at $0.1465 would support a first visit to $0.15 since May 11.

Holding above the 100-day EMA will be key.
XLMUSD 300522 4-Hourly Chart

Can Stellar Lumens’ (XLM) Entry in Smart Contracts Affect XRP’s dominance?

Smart contract platforms like Cardano and Solana truly swept the market off its feet over the last year charting high triple-digit gains thus strengthening the narrative for Smart Contract tokens.

Recently, Stellar Development Foundation made the announcement that smart contracts would make their debut on the XLM network this year.

However, the question remains whether the same could send XLM rallying or not. 

Smart Contracts on Stellar

Stellar’s recent announcement about smart contracts making a debut on the XLM network this year attracted eyeballs not just from XLM investors but fintech experts too.

Stellar’s VP of Ecosystem, Justin Rice, shared the plan to bring smart contracts to Stellar stating that the same could ‘empower the ecosystem with more room to innovate.’

While the network’s goal to remain one of the most accessible networks for developers stays intact the integration of smart contracts would allow the blockchain to ‘adapt and respond to the competitive blockchain landscape.’ 

The blog post further clarified: 

“Bringing smart contracts to Stellar is not a departure from the values or vision of the network. Since the Stellar network was built for the future of payments, it’s critical that smart contracts on Stellar are secure for users and can scale without exorbitant network fees.”

That said, Stellar’s VP of Tech Strategy, Tomer Weller, spoke about Stellar’s DeFi ecosystem underling that DeFi is becoming a major part of that system and that ‘it has been core to the protocol with a built-in DEX from the get-go, and AMM functionality became available in ‘21.’

The latest player to join, Stellar is MoneyGram and the collab would now support crypto-to-cash conversions in around 300,000 international locations. So with international transfers and smart contract integration on Stellar’s 2022 roadmap can the XRP competitor head for greater gains in the coming year?

XLM Price Still lacks Momentum

Stellar Lumens (XLM) the 30th ranked altcoin traded at $0.1959 at press time noting 2.04% daily and 20.68% weekly losses.

XLM, Crypto, Stellar Lumens,
Source: FXEMPIRE

XLM has often been compared with XRP owing to the two assets’ similar use cases and while it doesn’t directly put the two assets in a race it’s enough to drive comparative narratives in the market. That said, Jed McCaleb, the co-founder, and CTO of Stellar who was also the founder and CTO of Ripple until 2014 establishes more common ground between the two projects. 

With XLM’s entry in the smart contract space, the same put the asset in competition with top smart contract platforms like Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, among others. For now, with the larger market looking bleak after BTC fell by 3.45% back to $36,664 at press time XLM’s trajectory too looked relatively weak. 

The recent announcements too couldn’t do much in the coin’s favor and XLM was still oscillating close to the lower $0.187 mark which was last seen in January 2021.

Blockchain.com Adds a Former Walmart Director to its Board

The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry has seen an influx of experts from traditional financial institutions over the past few years, and the trend could continue.

Horton Joins the Blockchain.com Team

Cryptocurrency startup Blockchain.com has announced the addition of Tom Horton to its board. Horton is an independent director from Walmart and has become the latest executive from a traditional company to join a crypto startup.

The Walmart director now joins a host of other executives on Blockchain.com’s board. The company recently added Marcie Vu, former head of consumer Internet banking at Morgan Stanley, to its board.

Other financial backers of the company include Google Ventures, Sir Richard Branson, and Lightspeed Commerce Inc.

Blockchain.com is one of the leading cryptocurrency companies planning to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) in the near to medium term. However, there is no set date regarding the company’s planned public listing.

Horton’s addition to the Blockchain.com board highlights a growing trend in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. The past few years have seen numerous mainstream financial institutions and businesses enter the blockchain space.

Visa, one of the leading payment facilitators in the world, launched a cryptocurrency advisory forum towards the end of last year. BlackRock is another traditional financial institution that is currently involved in the crypto space.

MasterCard, PayPal, MoneyGram, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and several other traditional financial institutions are currently involved in various crypto-related activities.

The Crypto Market is Slowly Recovering

The cryptocurrency market suffered huge losses over the weekend, but it is now slowly recovering. The total cryptocurrency market cap has climbed above $1.6 trillion again after dropping towards $1.5 trillion yesterday.

Bitcoin declined towards the $33k level but has added more than 8% to its value in the last 24 hours and is now trading at $36,402 per coin. Ether is currently targeting the $2,500 psychological level after rallying by more than 7% in the past 24 hours.

MoneyGram Buys a 4% Stake in Cryptocurrency ATM Operator Coinme

MoneyGram partnered with cryptocurrency ATM operator Coinme in May last year. However, the money transfer firm has taken the partnership to the next level after investing in Coinme.

MoneyGram Invests in Coinme

Money transfer firm MoneyGram announced in a blog post a few hours ago that it has bought a 4% stake in Coinme. MoneyGram invested in Coinme via a recently closed Series A funding round.

Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s Chairman and CEO, said the company is bullish about the cryptocurrency space. Hence, the reason why it invested in Coinme, a company it believes has enormous potential in the crypto market.

He said, “At MoneyGram, we continue to be bullish on the vast opportunities that exist in the ever-growing world of cryptocurrency and our ability to operate as a compliant bridge to connect digital assets to local fiat currency. Our investment in Coinme further strengthens our partnership and compliments our shared vision to expand access to digital assets and cryptocurrencies.”

MoneyGram is Expanding its Presence in the Crypto Space

MoneyGram is not new to the cryptocurrency market. In May last year, the company partnered with Coinme to allow its United States customers to withdraw their cryptocurrency holdings in cash

MoneyGram maintains that it wants to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and local fiat currencies. Holmes said the money transfer firm has additional initiatives in the pipeline to boost its partnership with Coinme.

Coinme is one of the leading Bitcoin ATM operators in the world. According to its official website, the company has Bitcoin ATMs installed at over 20,000 locations.

MoneyGram is not the only traditional financial institution to expand its presence in the cryptocurrency space in recent months. On December 21, Visa announced the launch of a Global Crypto Advisory to help customers and partners navigate the cryptocurrency space.

Mastercard, another major traditional financial institution, acquired CipherTrace on September 9, 2021. The acquisition allows Mastercard’s cyber security solutions to provide businesses with greater transparency in the cryptocurrency space.

The UK’s Central Bank Pushes for Global Crypto Regulatory Talks

The Bank of England plans to hasten talks between financial regulators around the world in order to find ways of monitoring and regulating cryptocurrencies. In an interview with the Times, Sarah Breeden, the bank’s executive director for financial stability strategy and risk, said that there was an emerging need for stronger rules to regulate the crypto space on a global scale. The director also acknowledged the increasing number of banks and institutional investors getting involved in the crypto sector.

A Need for Crypto Regulatory Talks

Ms. Breeden pointed out the difficulty in obtaining data on the crypto holdings of institutional investors highlighted the need for cooperation between central banks and assorted regulators around the world. Her sentiments were mirrored by the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Board (FSB), which has spent the last few years developing a framework for the regulation of crypto.

The FSB also supports the work of the Crypto Assets Taskforce, which was set up in 2018 to lay out the UK’s policy and regulatory approach to unbacked cryptocurrencies and their associated market activities. The task force consists of representatives from HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In further news, the growing importance of stablecoins, which are a type of backed crypto asset used to make payments, has prompted cross-border payment platforms like MoneyGram to start contemplating the use of stablecoins to help accelerate cross-border transactions.

A recent report from crypto data aggregator, CoinGecko, indicates that more than $133 billion worth of tokens have been minted by stablecoin issuers. With this in mind, HM Treasury has made proposals to create a regulatory regime for stablecoins and bring them into the regulatory remit of the Bank of England.

Digital Currencies’  Poses No Risks to The UK Financial Network

In its recently released Financial Stability Report, the FSB indicated that crypto assets currently hold little direct risk to the United Kingdom’s financial stability. However, the report also acknowledged that a number of financial stability risks could arise as digital assets continue to grow and become more integrated with traditional financial networks.

The FSB pointed out that 95% of the $2.6 trillion crypto industry is made up of unbacked digital assets. Unbacked assets are crypto tokens with no underlying intrinsic value, which makes them vulnerable to major price corrections.

If institutional investors were to put their clients’ money into such crypto assets, a large fall in the asset’s valuation may cause the investors to sell off other financial assets to cover their losses and inadvertently cause a spillover through the country’s financial network.

It is because of the volatile nature of crypto assets that the FSB has called for the enhancement of regulatory and law enforcement frameworks, both in the UK and globally, in order to encourage sustainable innovation, manage risk, and maintain the integrity of the financial network.

Stripe is Open to Accepting Crypto Payments Again

Stripe exited the cryptocurrency market during the bear run of 2018, but the market has evolved since then.

The total cryptocurrency market cap has grown to nearly $3 trillion and an numerous financial institutions have entered the crypto space.

Stripe is Putting Together a Crypto Team

Payment platform Stripe said it is open to accepting cryptocurrency payments again. Co-founder John Collison revealed this at a CNBC-moderated panel at the Fintech Abu Dhabi festival earlier this week.

Collison said, “Crypto obviously means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There have been a lot of developments of late with an eye to making cryptocurrencies better and, in particular, scalable and acceptable cost as a payment method.”

When asked if the payment company will start accepting crypto as a method of payment again, the co-founder said they are open to the possibility. Stripe ended support for Bitcoin payments on its platform three years ago.

At the time, Stripe cited Bitcoin’s highly volatile nature and a lack of efficiency in making everyday transactions as the reason why it ended its Bitcoin payment support. The payment firm is now open to the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies again.

An Increasing Number of Fintech Platforms are Now Accepting Cryptos

Stripe ended Bitcoin payment support three years ago. However, the cryptocurrency market has evolved since then and has gotten bigger. The total cryptocurrency market cap hit $3 trillion two weeks ago. If the bulls regain control, the market cap could be set to go higher over the next few weeks and months.

Last month, Stripe revealed that it is putting together a cryptocurrency team as it prepares to re-enter the market. However, it hasn’t decided the services it would offer within the cryptocurrency space yet.

Numerous payment platforms and fintech firms have entered the cryptocurrency space over the past year. Neteller is a leading payment platform that accepts cryptocurrencies on its website. PayPal, one of the leading fintech companies in the world, launched its cryptocurrency trading services late last year. PayPal has already expanded to the UK and plans to make its services to its users worldwide.

Robinhood is another leading fintech company that has become heavily involved with cryptocurrencies. MoneyGram’s partnership with USDC issuer Circle and the Stellar Foundation allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at any of its outlets across the United States. Overall, the cryptocurrency market continues to gain adoption, and traditional banks and other financial institutions are starting to troop into the space.