Making international remittances fair and simple was among the first use cases invented for Bitcoin. Even though the initial concept of low fees and high-speed transactions is now threatened by the increased load on the network and complete absence of any consensus regarding the scalability issue, bitcoin remains a preferable solution for those willing to send money abroad without any involvement of banks and payments processors.
Still, cryptocurrency payments lack the simplicity of traditional payment mechanisms like plastic cards. When one wishes to send money abroad via international remittances services, they don’t have to learn to work with cryptocurrency exchange services. Even though most of them try to offer a user-friendly interface, they mostly focus on traders, not those wishing to exchange their fiat for crypto and then forget the experience as soon as possible. In any case, dealing with cryptocurrency transfers on your own implies many more steps than a card-to-card transfer.
The relative complexity of dealing with bitcoin has urged numerous startups and companies to develop solutions that could make the entire process simple even for rookie cryptocurrency users.
There are numerous solutions that seek to facilitate money remittances for both international and domestic purposes.
One of the world’s most promising markets in this regard is Africa where most people have no access to bank accounts and mostly rely on cellphones. There are numerous services like BitPesa or Bitwala that offer instant remittances of fiat currencies. Such startups are mostly based on concealing cryptocurrency from users. The user’s fiat currency is invisibly converted into BTC, transmitted to a different user, and then again invisibly converted back to fiat. For instance, BitPesa exchanges bitcoins for local fiat currencies by sending the assets to a user’s cellphone account.
In Nigeria, the Central Bank has prohibited the Nigerian citizens to use