20 Aug '13, 11pm
YC-Backed Buttercoin Uses Bitcoin To Attack The $500B-A-Year Remittances Economy
With Bitcoin’s promise of frictionless transactions, particularly across international borders, it’s inevitable that a team would use the math-based currency to attack the global remittances market. The World Bank estimates that migrants will send about $515 billion to relatives in developing countries by 2015, which is about 10 times the size of the U.S.’s budget for foreign aid. The old stand-bys like Western Union can charge around 10 percent for transactions in the market, an amount that Buttercoin co-founders Cedric Dahl and Bennett Hoffman find obscene. But Bitcoin, which is a pure math-based currency that allows for anonymous and irreversible transactions without the need for a third-party facilitator like a bank, promises transactions at a substantially lower cost. Buttercoin plans to open in India within the next three months and then to operate in six countries i...