Ripple had previously taken a huge price hit after a New York Times reporter cast doubt about the company's customers.
Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency is surging off previous intraday low prices, down just 4% Friday afternoon, following an unconfirmed report that said Western Union planned to use its blockchain technology for money transfers.
Ripplenews.tech, which then briefly went offline, first reported the anonymous tip just before 3 p.m. ET. Shortly after, the price of XRP surged 20% off its intraday lows. Western Union's stock closed up 5.9% after the report.
A spokesperson for Ripple declined to comment, saying the company "can't comment on rumor or speculation." Western Union also declined to comment. The two companies have previously worked together on a pilot program for distributed payment protocols in 2015.
Ripple's official Twitter account said earlier Friday that the company had already signed three of the world's five largest money transfer firms:
The tweet appeared to be a response to claims from a New York Times journalist that he could not verify many of Ripple's customers.
Ripple, which created and maintains the blockchain for its XRP cryptocurrency, has been in the spotlight since December as the digital coin has skyrocketed over 37,000% in value. It is now the second-largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, with a market cap of more than $120 billion.
Such massive gains have put its co-founder in the spotlight. Chris Larsen, who co-founded Ripple Labs (the company later dropped the suffix) in 2012, owns 5.19 billion XRP tokens. At Friday's prices, his holdings could be worth over $14 billion — so long as he could find a way to sell.
Western Union, which transferred $80 billion between customers last year, would add to a growing list of companies using or planning to use Ripple's services to speed up the movement of money between people, business, and banks. A consortium of Japanese banks have tested the services, and Britain's Standard Chartered is a stakeholder in Ripple.