With the increasing growth of e-commerce and the digital economy, the movement of money across international borders has become more important than ever. In sectors ranging from education to business, remittances play a crucial role in the global economy. The global remittance market, according to recent data, is valued significantly higher than $100 billion. Despite its growth and contributions to the global economy, remittances have been limited by various factors, including exorbitant costs. Fortunately, with the emergence of cryptocurrency, remittances have become easier, more affordable, and faster. In this article, you will learn how cryptocurrencies are changing remittances and facilitating international trade.

How Crypto is Changing Remittances | International Crypto Payments

The Current State of Remittances

The current state of remittances involves the transfer of funds across international borders for various purposes, such as paying for products or services, contributing to noble or community initiatives, or sending money to relatives and loved ones.

To move funds for any of these reasons, one typically uses a Money Transfer Operator (MTO) like Western Union or TransferWise. This process involves sending the money in your local currency to the MTO, which then instructs its agent in the recipient's country to deliver the funds.The recipient receives the money in their local currency, but only after the deduction of various fees, such as MTO fees and currency conversion charges. Additionally, users often face challenges like service availability or geographic limitations. As a result, the recipient often ends up with only a fraction of the original amount sent.

From this explanation, it is evident that international money transfer is not only expensive but also time-consuming and inconvenient. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies is significantly altering the landscape of remittances.

How Crypto is Changing Remittances

Removal of the Middleman: One of the most significant impacts of cryptocurrency on the remittance industry is the elimination of middlemen or third-party services, such as MoneyGram, Western Union, and TransferWise. Unlike traditional remittance channels, cryptocurrencies enable direct transfers between individuals without the need for these intermediary institutions. This direct transaction model not only simplifies the process but also potentially reduce associated costs and transfer times.

Decentralization in Remittances through Cryptocurrency: The rise of cryptocurrency as an alternative in remittances is leading to industry decentralization, challenging the dominance of major players like Western Union. Traditional remittance services, due to their centralized nature, have had significant impacts on popurelations, as seen when Western Union ceased operations in Afghanistan in 2021 and in Cuba in 2020 following U.S. sanctions. Such decisions by a few key players can have adverse effects on large groups, often leaving them without vital financial services. Cryptocurrency, by contrast, operates without centralized control, offering a decentralized and more equitable approach in remittances. This shift ensures that no single entity can disproportionately influence the industry, creating a more balanced and accessible financial landscape.

Reducing the Barrier to Receiving Funds: With cryptocurrency, the essential requirements to send and receive money are simply a mobile phone, an internet connection, and a digital wallet. This accessibility makes it feasible for individuals who may not meet the criteria for opening a traditional bank account to still engage in financial transactions, thus empowering underserved populations.

Making Remittances Stable: Cryptocurrency enables the transfer of funds across borders, potentially offering resilience even in scenarios of political instability. However, it's important to note that factors like internet access can still influence the feasibility of such transactions, and cryptocurrencies themselves can be affected by regulatory changes and market sentiments.

Ensuring that Remittances are Fast and Affordable: Cryptocurrency transactions typically facilitate quick and cost-effective remittances, often completed within minutes and without the need for traditional middlemen. It's important to recognize, though, that factors like network congestion and varying transaction fees can influence both the speed and the cost of transfers. Unlike traditional remittance systems, crypto transactions don't differentiate between domestic and cross-border transfers, aiming to maintain consistency in speed and cost regardless of the remittance type and receiver's location.


Cryptocurrencies have indeed changed the landscape of remittances, offering not only affordable but also fast and convenient options for transferring funds. However, this innovation is not without its risks. Cryptocurrencies are known for their high volatility, which can significantly affect the value of transactions, and the regulatory landscape is less established and varies by country. Therefore, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of cryptocurrency, its different forms, and the specific regulations governing its use in your country. Familiarizing yourself with how crypto remittance channels, such as peer-to-peer marketplaces, operate can be immensely beneficial when you engage in cross-border fund transfers using cryptocurrencies.

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