One of bitcoin’s earliest promises was its potential use as an easy way to send money across borders. It promised to be ‘magic internet money’, and promised to do to value what the internet did to content and services.
Bitcoin is indeed a fast and easy way to transfer value, soaring untethered over boundaries of nation states and regulations, and the frictions imposed by rent seekers such as banks and other financial institutions. However the inherent volatility in the value of bitcoin when it hits terra firma and gets measured in terms of the dollar as a unit of account prevents its fullest expression as a means of remittance.
The emergence of stablecoins provides an exciting alternative to traditional remittance mechanisms. As more and more stablecoin projects emerge, especially those denominated in non-USD currencies, we will see the money transfer industry get shaken up. In another ten years or so, like with some checking accounts, your money transfer service provider will have to incentivise you to use them and might even pay you a small amount, with increasing competition for monetisation opportunities around data overnight money markets and potentially with the emerging DeFi (distributed finance) crypto money markets.
In any event, our recently launched alpha of Fordex
, the 0x-powered relayer, provides some nifty features. Among other things it is a crypto-powered (OK ‘blockchain’ powered) remittance engine that offers fast transaction confirmations in a low-cost manner. With more fiat-backed stablecoins likely to be launched in the next couple of years, the number of remittance corridors is only going to increase. Fordex currently supports USD to KRW (Korean Won) transfers through USDC, PAX, DAI and KRWb stablecoins. Fordex also provides fiat onramp from USD to USD stablecoins through the Wyre plug-in.
A sample USD to KRWb conversion might be as follows:
- Use Wyre to convert fiat USD to DAI
- Trade DAI for KRWb on ForDeX (we also provide markets for USDC/KRWb and PAX/KRWb)
- Sell KRWb for Korean Won through fiat offramp on a Korean exchange
This is significantly better in terms of cost and time to other options that exist in this corridor, especially for transactions for smaller amounts.