Cryptocurrency exchange Remitano has expanded beyond Asia to offer its bitcoin remittance services to millions of citizens in Africa.
Remitano Now Provides Remittance Services to More Than 10 Different Nations
The remittance industry has been expected to suffer great disruption at the hands of bitcoin since it’s inception. The global remittance industry has been valued at over $500 billion USD annually in recent years, yielding exorbitant profits for the middle-men who have monopolized the international circulation of money.
Remitano has recently announced that it will be expanding its services outside of Asia, with Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania. Remitano began its life a start-up in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, before incorporating in the African nation of Seychelles and being offered as a product under Babylon Solutions Limited. Remitano now provides remittance services to more than 10 different nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, China, India, and Ghana.
Remitano initially garnered attention for being the bitcoin exchange that experiences the most traffic in Vietnam, despite Vietnam’s notoriously unclear regulations when it comes to bitcoin. Vietnam first addressed the digital currency officially by issuing a warning in February 2014 stating that bitcoin wasn’t recognized as legal tender, nor covered by commercial or consumer legislation. In October of 2014 three bitcoin traders were arrested, but the request for charges was rejected by the judge as “[bitcoin had] not been subject to any legal regulations”. At present, financial institutions are forbidden from owning and transacting in bitcoin.
The Bitcoin-Based Remittance Industry Has Started to Gain Traction in Africa
The Vietnamese ban on financial institutions from transacting in bitcoin has not prevented businesses such as Remitano from flourishing. In addition to Remitano, Bitcoin Vietnam has achieved success as an exchange, operating in partnership with Israeli company Bit2C for several years. As Remitano and Bitcoin Vietnam facilitate a marketplace that allows private individuals to transact in bitcoin, the companies themselves have managed to evade operating outside of Vietnamese cryptocurrency regulations.
The bitcoin-based remittance industry has started to gain traction in Africa. Last year the African economy lost over $60 billion USD to remittance fees, illustrating the imperative need for an alternative solution to the current mainstream remittance industry. Recently, the largest pan-African wallet provider, Bitmari, applied for an international remittance license with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Competition between remittance providers in Africa like Remitano and Bitmari will reap further benefits for local economies.
The expansion of companies like Remitano further embed bitcoin into the normal, daily lives of citizens across the globe, signaling that for some countries, mainstream bitcoin adoption may not be far away.
Do you think bitcoin-based services will come to dominate Africa’s remittance industry? Tell us your thoughts below!
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