‘Borderless’, ‘Peer to Peer’ and ‘Low transactional charges’- prime attributes of Bitcoin that has made its adoption conceivable. Interestingly these are the factors that helped the cryptocurrency to find its place in Remittances Industry. The fact that transactions of high orders are executed within no time at very low transactional costs has caught the attention of many remittance providers. Banking on the same many cryptocurrency based remittance startups have popped up especially in Eastern part of the world. Let’s look into how Bitcoin is disrupting remittance industry:
Remittance Industry Overview:
A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in his or her home country. Money sent home by migrants competes with international aid as one of the largest financial inflows to developing countries. Workers’ remittances are a significant part of international capital flows, especially with regard to labour-exporting countries. From the start of this decade India, China, Mexico and Philippines have been the top countries in terms of remittance inflows. Owing to this the remittance startup scenario in South East Asia and Mexico has improved significantly with a touch of cryptocurrencies.
Existing players in fiat currencies:
When it comes to cross border transfer of fiat currencies, there is a standard transaction fee which varies with different countries to carry out the transaction. Most notable companies in this space include Western Union, Money Gram, Ria, TransferWise and World Remit. These companies are pretty old and exist in more than 110 countries making Remittances easy with short processing hours. The volume of transfers of these companies is estimated to be around $750 million per month.
Upcoming Bitcoin based remittances startups:
To capture the remittances market, many Bitcoin startups have come into existence locally in these countries with varied services. FlexM, Fastacash, Sendah, Rebit, Bitspark and Toast are notable startups in South East Asia that have been actively facilitating Bitcoin remittances. Few of these startups also provide facilities of storage in the form of Gold tokens, precious metals and other assets. When it comes to Mexico, chunk of these remittances are estimated to come from US across the border. Bitso and Vogel are two mainstream Bitcoin exchanges in Mexico that offer wallet and merchant services in addition to Bitcoin Trading. They have reported a significant rise in Bitcoin transactions and cross border payments. How Mexican Government would react to the growing popularity of Bitcoin through remittances is to be seen.