South Korea's Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Partners BitPay for Remittance

2018/03/15/3/south-korea-bitcoin-won-760x400.jpg

Bithumb, South Korea's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has partnered with significant cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay to facilitate international remittance payments.

US and South Korea

Sonny Singh of Bitpay, the chief business officer at BitPay, stated that the company is on track to process $4 billion worth of transactions in 2018, and the staff is focused on allowing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to be more accessible for casual users by helping large-scale retailers to incorporate cryptocurrencies as a payment system.

During an interview with CNBC, Singh announced that the company has partnered with Bithumb to target the $200 billion remittance business by targeting obligations between South Korea and the west.

For many years, since 2014, many remittance-focused companies have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to process large quantities of remittance payments, given the expensive fees and costs paid by both remittance senders and receivers when utilizing existing remittance service providers such as Western Union and Moneygram.

1 disadvantage with conventional remittance companies is that in provinces or rural regions wherein remittance facilities are non-existent, recipients are often required to travel far distances to receive their money, which becomes time-consuming and more costly.

Singh said that the partnership between Bithumb and BitPay would allow users to process cross-border payments with a 1 percent fee and a guaranteed settlement time of 1 day.

«We're trying to make it so that people can get money cheaper and faster from suppliers internationally. So right now, someone in South Korea can pay a million-dollar invoice in america using Bithumb to buy bitcoin and pay the bill, and BitPay will process that bill and settle in US dollars the next business day,» Singh explained.

Bithumb has also begun to deploy cryptocurrency ATMs in South Korea, to allow any person within the country to easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies, also easing the process of sending remittance obligations with cryptocurrencies.

Asian Market

While BitPay and Bithumb are focused on targeting the South Korea-to-US remittance market, other companies like South Korea's largest online conglomerate Kakao are focused on serving the Asian remittance market, which is valued at $500 billion.

This past year, Kakao, that has control over the nation's messaging, fintech, taxi, and social media businesses with a 90 percent market share in each industry, acquired a 40 percent stake in Satoshi Citadel Industries, the largest bitcoin-focused investment company and remittance business in the Philippines.

Rebit.ph, a cryptocurrency-based remittance app that's operated by Satoshi Citadel, has been processing remittance payments between the Philippines and many countries in Asia.

In most developed countries like South Korea and the US, expat workers do not rely on remittance service providers but rather work with banks to send and receive payments. However, in countries such as the Philippines and Malaysia with comparatively low wage for local workers and limited access to banking services, employees utilize remittance platforms to settle payments.