The Philippines is a home to some of the industry’s most innovative startups including Coins.ph and Rebit.ph, that enable cost-efficient remittances from their home country to international recipients. At Bootstrap Manila, Bitcoin startups & investors revealed that 20 percent of remittances from the Philippines to South Korea are processed using Bitcoin.
Coins.ph recently secured a $ 5 mln investment from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s fund, due to their unique approach that instead of competing with banks and existing financial services, it would be more beneficial for its users to collaborate with them to offer borderless and frictionless remittance services.
As a result, users can send payments using Bitcoin to anywhere in the country, through mainstream remittance and financial services such as bank ATMs, Over-the-Counter payments and remittance outlet deposits.
Rebit.ph is another prominent remittance-focused startup in the Philippines that is primarily focused on providing remittance services to its users. Unlike Coins.ph, Rebit enables users to send Bitcoin to virtually anywhere around the world with substantially low fees.
Its parent company Satoshi Citadel Industries received funding from South Korea’s largest messaging application, KakaoTalk, which boasts a 93% national penetration rate. This strategic partnership between dominant social media company KakaoTalk and Satoshi Citadel Industries led to various crucial openings for Bitcoin in the South Korean market.
At the moment, the number of expat Filipino workers in South Korea are rapidly increasing, and many South Korean entrepreneurs and students are migrating to the Philippines to start new ventures. Thus, the remittance market between these two countries have significantly grown over the past few years.
Min Kyong-ho, Minister and Consul-General at the South Korean Embassy in Manila, said in an interview that more Filipino workers are visiting South Korea due to their friendly visa application processes.
“Filipinos can get visas more easily than before. These members (BPI Gold and Platinum card hold members) don’t have to provide, submit complicated bank documents. They can just provide their credit card statement. One page of credit card statement is enough for them to get a visa,” said Min.
Of this $ 230 mln remittance market, Bootstrap Manila speakers revealed that Bitcoin processed nearly 20 percent of it, which is equivalent to $ 46 mln. Although it still seems relatively small compared to the Bitcoin exchange market’s $107 mln daily trading volume, 20 percent penetration rate of Bitcoin in international remittance market is incredibly large.