Mexican bitcoin exchange Bitso has been working with Canadian payments startup Paycase to create a new remittance corridor between the two countries.
Bitso, which raised $2.5m in new funding last September, said it has been working with Paycase to send funds from bank accounts in Canada to others in Mexico.
In one instance, the firms said today, a fiat currency micropayment was sent from a Canadian bank to Paycase before it was transmitted to Bitso using bitcoin, before finally settling as fiat in a Mexican bank account. According to the startups, the entire process took roughly three minutes to complete.
Pablo Gonzalez, Bitso’s chief executive, said:
"We believe in the power of bitcoin as a rail to make financial services more competitive and create financial inclusion in markets such as Mexico."
While they did not provide an indication of when the service might go live, the two companies framed the work in the context of economic turbulence in North America.
Paycase CEO Joseph Weinberg said: "We believe this corridor becomes ever more critical to the stability of the North American market".
Remittances are an application of bitcoin technology that has seen broad interest since the digital currency's launch, with its borderless nature and underlying software driving the exploration of ways to more conveniently send funds from one country or region to another. Bitso and Paycase are said to have been exploring this area for the past year.
However, factors such as the cost of compliance and resistance toward the digital currency on the part of banking institutions has, in some instances, stymied momentum for bitcoin-based remittance services. At the same time, some firms in the space have advanced their platforms amidst a difficult regulatory environment.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Bitso.
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