South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb partners with major cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay. It is to facilitate international remittance payments.
Sonny Singh of Bitpay, the chief commercial officer at BitPay, stated that the company is on track to process $4 billion worth of transactions in 2018. Also, the team is focusing to allow cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to be more accessible for casual users. Furthermore, they will do this by assisting large-scale retailers to integrate cryptocurrencies as a payment method.
Singh gave this announcement in an interview with CNBC. Singh announced that the company has partnered with Bithumb to target the $200 billion remittance industry by targeting payments between South Korea and the west. Sonny Singh said that:
Cross-border payments in South Korea and the west [have become] a $200 billion industry this year. Bithumb is obviously one of the largest exchanges in the world.
BitPay is partnering with @BithumbOfficial to power cross-border #blockchain payments to and from #SouthKorea. Catch our Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh on @CNBC Asia: https://t.co/AGEYqgp9bw #Fintech #Money2020Asia
— BitPay (@BitPay) March 13, 2018
Easy Transactions by BitPay
Since 2014, many remittance-focused companies have attempted to utilize cryptocurrencies to process large sums of remittance payments. Existing remittance service providers like Western Union and Moneygram give expensive fees and costs paid by both remittance senders and receivers. One disadvantage with traditional remittance companies is that in provinces or rural areas receivers often are required to travel far distances to receive their money. That is in areas where remittance centres are non-existent, trading becomes time-consuming and costly.
Singh stated that this partnership would allow users to process cross-border payments with a 1 percent fee. And also a guaranteed settlement time of 1 day. He said
“We’re trying to make it so that people can get money cheaper and quicker from suppliers internationally. So right now, someone in South Korea can pay a million-dollar invoice in the United States using Bithumb to buy bitcoin. And then pay the invoice, and BitPay will process that invoice and settle in US dollars the next business day.”
Bithumb has also started to deploy cryptocurrency ATMs in South Korea. That will allow any individual within the country to easily purchase and sell cryptocurrencies.
While BitPay and Bithumb are focused on targeting the South Korea-to-US remittance market, South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate Kakao are focused on serving the Asian remittance market. The valuation of remittance market is $500 billion. Last year, Kakao acquired a 40 percent stake in Satoshi Citadel Industries. Rebit.ph, a cryptocurrency-based remittance operated by Satoshi Citadel is 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 like the Philippines and Malaysia, employees utilize remittance platforms to settle payments.