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It is safe to assume that anyone with a working internet connection has heard of Facebook and its subsidiary, WhatsApp. Bloomberg reported on Dec 21, 2018, that Facebook is working on a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app. Are cryptocurrencies at the precipice of mass adoption?
Facebook boasts the largest active users with 1.7 billion after more than a decade of existence. That number could have been higher if countries like China, Iran, North Korea, and Bangladesh had not banned Facebook. On the other hand, WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users in 109 countries. The most popular countries include India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and many others. Facebook is primed to become a major player in the remittance market due to the sheer number of users and its reputation in developing countries.
The Remittance Market
Remittance is the transfer of money from a migrant worker to someone back in their home country. People have always moved in search of better work prospects in high-income (or high currency value as compared to home) countries.
Based on the World Migration Report 2018, there are currently an estimated 244 million international migrants living in other countries. This number has either directly or indirectly contributed to the global remittance’s $689 billion dollar industry with India at the top of the pile, contributing $80 billion or 11.6% of the market. The global remittance industry is expected to grow by more than 3% in 2019.
Online Money Transfer
The advancement of technology has provided us with a much better alternative to manual remittances. Remitting via this method is a much safer, secure, faster way of transferring cash. Companies such as TransferWise and Revolut have taken the industry by storm.