The Simplest Way For Bitcoin To Take Over Global Remittances

Today I would like to revisit one of the most obvious use cases for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and that is global remittances. I walk through an example of me wanting to send £500 from the UK to a friend of mine in India. I compare using Western Union to using the Bitcoin network to accomplish the same thing.

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About the Author: The Cryptoverse


  1. Convert Btc or any privacy crypto asset into a stable coin then perhaps download a mobile wallet with Trueusd or nUSd. This would make it much easier to control price fluctuations and promote mass adoption, then do a stable coin to stable coin transfer. Once merchants accept stable coins as payment then there is actually no need to use fiat. Besides tether are there any mobile apps that use stable coins?

  2. IBM are building the next global remittance network with Stellar. It is also designed to work interacting with state cryptocurrencies. OK I get that – what I resent is that we are all paying for the infrastructure and to secure the network. If you invest in stellar then you are building their network for them – without any guarantee of returns. If you were never going to get return from holding Stellar – why hold it? Speculative gains right. So business is making money out of our speculation. This is the game of crypto.

  3. Buy BTC and have it loaded on an empty personal wallet. Send the private key to your friend, ideally over encrypted messaging service. Then you are saving onchain tx fees and exchange fees on the other end. If your friend doesn't entirely trust you to not keep the private key, they will move the funds to a new address once they received it. Not even a traceable on chain transaction.

  4. Coinbase takes a large fee right off the bat when you convert FIAT to Bitcoin. Then there is a fee to send the Bitcoin and a fee for the receiver to exchange back into FIAT. Mass adoption will only happen when the fees come down.

  5. Coinbase's AML bot system refused repeatedly to recognise perfectly good photos or scans of my passport or driving licence, so I gave up trying to set up an account with them (before the news about their opening a UK bank account). Coinfloor may be UK registered, but when I used them I had to send a SEPA transfer, which cost me £10 and took one working day, then they spent a week asking me for more ID verification documentation. Consequently I have only ever used localbitcoins, wihch is quick and secure, but has a rather wide spread. I haven't searched for UK exchanges that accept BACS Faster Payments for months now, but there were none that I could find several months ago — I would welcome The Cryptoverse doing a video dedicated to all the UK exchanges that accept BACS Faster Payments.
    With Bitcoin wallet-to-wallet tansfers, most recipients won't feel secure for an hour after the transaction is published to the mempool, as they wait for 6 confirmations.
    Western Union is instantaneous.
    When I send money to The Gambia, West Africa, I use Approve Services Ltd for a 99p fee and a good exchange rate (currently 62 Dalasis to the pound Sterling, compared with's mid-market rate of 63.12). This is the low cost Bitcoin needs to beat in the case of The Gambia. Recipients in The Gambia have almost no way of converting Bitcoin into Dalasis.
    Bitcoin has a long way to go.

  6. This example is somehow way too simple. Two things are important to people – its either speed or costs or preferably even both. For costs you need to take the exchange rate into consideration that Western Union uses. Also you need to count in the costs for converting bitcoin back into Fiat. Plus the movement of value (volatility risk) in bitcoin /Rupee vs. Pound/rupee. A real time experiment of transferring real money at different points in time would show what is really cheaper and without any risks. Time wise bitcoin transfers will win for sure but only when you have a cash machine near in India which is hard. So the other option is then to wait for the fiat transfer from your Indian crypto exchange which could be a lengthy process. Also you should not only look at Western Union but also at other services like Transferwise or Xendpay. Definetly if you bring on real time cases you would have much more viewers than this simple illustration

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