In 2014, Spark (then Bitspark) did the world's first end-to-end crypto remittance proving the technology's viability as a means to transfer cash cheaply while still being of real value to users by converting it to cash. This is an old blog we posted right after we did the first transfers but it marked a huge breakthrough for the cryptocurrency industry. Now we see lots of crypto companies like Spark who are inspired to change the industry all working towards one goal to improve remittances.
We've reposted this on Steemit from our company blog in celebration of International Remittances Day which is on the 16th of June. Spark recognises the significant financial contribution migrant workers make to the wellbeing of their families back home and to the sustainable development of their countries of origin. It's a honour as a team to be able to help everyday to improve remittances for people and we will continue to do good work!
Technology breakthroughs aside, the day we made these transfers was the day we realised the true opportunity of cryptocurrency, helping others. As you will read below our first ever transfer was HKD 10,000.00 (USD 1,200.00), which is a lot of money considering the average remittance is USD $100 - 300. We found out that Ms.Camara, our very first customer, was sending money back for her wedding in the Philippines and that by getting better rates through Spark she could afford two extra guests at her wedding.
That is where the real value is.
We hope you enjoy reading this post. And thank you for everyone who supports and continue supports Spark's long term mission.
Happy International Remittance Day!
Bitspark Sends The First Ever End-to-End Bitcoin Remittance
Bitspark presents the first ever end-to-end Hong Kong to Philippines Bitcoin remittance service which leverages the Bitcoin network to provide instant money transfer and low transaction fees.
We did it!
Bitspark has gone above and beyond to provide a service that is truly usable by everyone – after all, the benefits of Bitcoin shouldn’t only be exclusive to tech savvy individuals!
Hong Kong has a foreign worker force which makes up 3% of the population with every individual needing to send money back home to their families and friends. Since the rise of Bitcoin and its obvious benefits of instant transactions at a fraction of the price, excitement has been buzzing about what this means for the traditional remittance industry in Hong Kong and world wide. Bitspark got out there to test drive the market with their new service to answer the typical questions of "Will Bitcoin distrupt the remittance ecosystem?" "Will ordinary people embrace such a new idea as electronic money?" "Will it even work?" And we're delighted to answer "yes!".
So, what is the pure definition of a start up anyway?
"A start up is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty" - Eric Ries [The Lean Startup]
And that is exactly what Bitspark achieved last Sunday. We secured a space at the World Wide House, a center frequently visited by senders who seek to remit money overseas. It is literally an epicenter of traditional remittance providers such as Western Union, Money Gram and many others making the competition fierce amongst the masses. However, for the first time, an offer was made available to senders that provided a cheaper option with accurate exchange rates and no hidden fees. Additonally, a portal to using Bitcoin with no prior knowledge was made avaliable and provided an opporutnity for everyday citizens to enjoy the benefits of Bitcoin.
(Our COO, Maxine Ryan [right], with our first remittance customer Ms. Camara [left] who also happened to send the largest amount of HKD$10,000/ PHP$57,950! Big thank you to Ms. Camara for believeing in us!)
Remitters were lining up to learn about Bitspark's service and were genuinely intrigued by our competitive price, our 30 pick-up locations in the Philippenes and of course by our incredible customer service. Bitspark was able to reach an audience of 400+ and remit money for senders back to their home towns ranging from Aurora province, Quezon Province and Lanao del Notre Province proving that you can recieve money transmitted in the form of Bitcoin almost anywhere!
Bitspark cannot wait to show you what else we've got installed on the remittance front so stay tuned!
A shout out and thank you to Rebit.ph for their support and to Maria and Rocky who allowed us to use their store for the first ever end-to-end bitcoin remttiance solution!