MoneyGram shares jump on partnership with bitcoin-rival Ripple

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(Jan 13): Shares of MoneyGram International Inc jumped 10.5 percent on Thursday, after the money-transfer company said it partnered with blockchain firm and bitcoin-rival Ripple.

As part of the arrangement, MoneyGram will test the use of Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, to move funds in a faster and cheaper way.

Ripple, created by the founder of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has risen 31,000 percent over the past year, overshadowing bitcoin's 1,200 percent increase.

XRP rose to $2.25 during trade on Thursday, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Many see it as a close contender to bitcoin, which is by far the biggest cryptocurrency with a market value of more than $250 billion. (http://reut.rs/2D0S11W)

XRP allows banks and payment companies to send money quickly, no matter the location. Its transaction fee, at just "fractions of a penny", is also comparable to bitcoin's $30 per transaction fee.

Several companies such as UBS and Santander already use Ripple's products to enable payments. In November 2017, American Express Co also launched an instant blockchain-based payment system using Ripple.

China's Ant Financial's deal to buy MoneyGram for $1.2 billion collapsed last week. - Reuters