Moneygram just partnered with Bitcoin's rival Ripple

Competition is heating in up the word of cryptocurrencies, and one of Bitcoin’s main rivals, Ripple, announced Thursday that it’s teaming up with MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI), one of the world’s largest money transferring companies, to pilot its XRP currencies in their payment flows.

Part of the deal will also allow MoneyGram to integrate itself into Ripple’s payment network XRapid, allowing people to safely and efficiently send cross-border payments to friends, families and business partners, the companies said in a statement.

Typically, existing money transfer companies need to have pre-funded accounts across the globe to ensure that they are able to facilitate transactions. Instead, by using XRP Moneygram can directly transfer funds from one country to another instead.

"The inefficiencies of global payments don't just affect banks, they also affect institutions like MoneyGram. Money transfer companies are incredibly important because they help people get money to their friends and loved ones," Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple said in a statement. "By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, they can now move money as quickly as information."

MoneyGram’s CEO Alex Holmes added he hopes the partnership will “increase efficiency and improve services” to its customers faster and he believes blockchain technology overall is “changing the norm and encouraging innovation.”

The news of the announcement pushed MoneyGram’s shares up 6% and Ripple’s XRP climbed more than 9%, according to