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Latest Stellar Partnerships Out-Ripple Ripple as XLM Token Goes Stellar

The crypto payment specialist has announced multiple new initiatives over the past few weeks, including a partnership with Latin American exchange Bitso enabling USDC transactions to Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.


Crypto payment specialist Stellar has been very busy indeed over the past few months if the onslaught of new ventures recently announced by the firm is anything to go by. It may be Ripple who came out on top against the SEC, but Stellar has taken the initiative in the payments market, as evidenced by the soaring price of its XLM token - which soared over 35% before dropping back slightly in the past week.

Stellar’s latest hook-up is with Latin American crypto exchange Bitso, to facilitate international payment services to the region. This means companies worldwide that operate in the Stellar network can now send payments to countries where Bitso has a direct connection to the banking system.

This promotes financial inclusion and new trade possibilities with Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. Transactions will be denominated in dollars and actioned using Circle’s USDC stablecoin. Bitso SVP of Institutional Product, Santiago Alvarado, said in a statement:

“In recent years, we have seen an increase in cross-border payments globally for both international commerce and remittances. By leveraging blockchain technology and crypto assets, we can significantly improve settlement times and overall costs.”

Earlier in the week, Stellar also shared the news that the Honeycoin app (which is powered by Stellar technology) has launched a new feature in collaboration with MoneyGram, allowing users to cash out their USDC balances at supported MoneyGram locations.

The countries supported by the new feature are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and the United Kingdom. As well as cashing out USDC on the app to fiat, users can deposit fiat at a MoneyGram location and receive USDC, which can then be easily transferred to other Honeycoin users.

Honeycoin claims to be the “first African non-custodial wallet to offer this game-changing capability.”

Between these two announcements Stellar was bigging-up FonBnk, another app powered by its technology that promotes financial inclusion across sub-Saharan Africa. FonBnk allows users to turn their prepaid mobile phone SIM cards into virtual debit cards, by converting airtime credit into (you guessed it) USDC.

You may also remember that back in March, Stellar announced a partnership with Coinme, a key U.S. crypto cash exchange and crypto ATM provider. This created another fiat on/off ramp, allowing USDC to be sent on Stellar through Coinme wallets, in a way which “promotes financial inclusion by enabling physical cash to become borderless digital cash accessible across thousands of locations nationwide.”

It rather seems like Stellar has been doing what Ripple initially promised in terms of financial inclusion, while Ripple has been Observed buying itself into institutional crypto custody. It remains to be seen whether Ripple can retake the initiative in the crypto payments market, but if Stellar continues to launch new projects at this rate then it may well have a fight on its hands.