Hong Kong-based Bitspark Limited, a bitcoin remittance company, has announced a new partnership with Malaysian Vitaxel Group. Vitaxel Group, which specializes in multi-level marketing, has more than 5000 distributors in 16 Asian countries. And together, they aim to expand the bitcoin remittance services throughout Southeast Asia (S.E.A).
Remittance in Hong Kong
Currently, Bitspark provides bitcoin remittance services to three countries – Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia. Now Bitspark is entering the Malaysian market and the ultimate goal is to provide faster and cheaper remittance services through the use of bitcoin and blockchain technology to S.E.A.
There are about 320,000 migrant workers in Hong Kong alone. Before Bitspark came into the picture, migrants would go to traditional ‘money transfer stores’ physically to remit money home. These traditional money transfer stores’ services tend to be expensive and require quite some time for the whole process to complete. To add, many of these money transfer stores use outdated IT technology. Hence the systems often lack in security.
Bitspark Business Model
Customers can either request for remittance services by handing cash over the counters at one of the many stores or load their online accounts with bitcoin or other accepted currencies to remit at the comfort of their home.
Using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to transfer payments between intermediaries, Bitspark bypasses through existing banking networks and traditional remittance systems. In turn, it provides customers with competitive fees and a higher speed of transfer.
Does the receiving party require knowledge of bitcoin or IT skills? The answer is no. Bitspark currently has more than 100,000 pick-up locations worldwide. The agents at these locations deal directly with paper currencies. Hence, the receiving party can pick up the money regardless if remittance was done over the counters or through bitcoin.
S.E.A. Remittance Potential
Collaboration with Vitaxel is one of the most promising business decision that Bitspark has made. In Malaysia, the volume of money transfers to neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and others is well over US $2 billion and growing.
Due to the large volumes and amount in transactions, the partners have committed to the stringent level of KYC. This is to guard against the misuse of its platform to launder funds. Strategic plans in choosing their agents to avoid putting bitcoin and the collaboration in a less than desirable light will be necessary.
Do you know that the global remittance industry is a US $600 billion industry? Share with us your thoughts on the increasing number of migrant workers using bitcoin in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Bitspark and Vitaxel websites.
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