The ongoing crypto winter isn’t stopping the industry from pushing for global adoption and accessibility. A new partnership between CoinCorner and Bitnob gives users from different continents the ability to make cross-border transactions involving multiple fiat currencies.
Transferring funds between Europe and Africa usually requires a third-party facilitator such as Western Union, which relies on centralized entities. These transactions often have multi-party processing times before approval and are notorious for costly cuts. The World Bank estimates that remittances to sub-Saharan Africa will amount to more than $40 billion a year from 2020, with Nigeria alone receiving almost half of that amount.
Now, users can transfer funds through the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network from the United Kingdom and Europe to select countries in Africa. The application, Send Globally, allows the transfer of British Pounds (GBP) or Euros (EUR) to the local currencies of Nigeria (NGN), Kenya (KES) and Ghana (GHS).
Using the Lightning Network, funds are automatically converted to BTC, then instantly converted to local currency and deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet.
Danny Scott, CEO of CoinCorner, said that the payment market is a great opportunity to highlight the utility of BTC.
“Bitcoin’s limitless nature has always been a great tool for sending money around the world, but now with the Lightning Network, sending bitcoin is instant and very cheap. »
In 2021, data from Statista placed Nigeria in the top 10 countries for remittance payments. In addition, the World Bank reported that Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 14.1% of global shipments in the past year.
However, almost 80% of African countries restrict the type of institutions that can offer payments-related services to local banks. This exclusivity creates barriers to entry, and therefore access to finance for those who need it most.
Also read: Remittances Driving ‘Uneven, But Rapid’ Cryptocurrency Adoption in Latin America
The prevalence of cryptocurrencies in Africa is a hot topic in the space, as the continent is full of emerging economies and practical use cases.
Especially in North Africa, the growth of the cryptocurrency industry continues. A report from Chainalysis revealed that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the fastest growing region in the world.
In September, the Nigerian government held meetings with Binance to negotiate a special economic zone established to support crypto and blockchain-related businesses in the region.
A subsequent report from Chainalysis also highlighted Ghana’s rise to prominence in the crypto space. He said the country could catch up with Nigeria and Kenya in crypto adoption.