Monday, April 15, 2024

Coins.ph eyes OFW remittances, bares global expansion

Homegrown crypto platform Coins.ph is aiming to capture a pie of the multi-billion remittance market from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as it announced a bold leap onto the global stage with an ambitious expansion plan into Australia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

At a recent media briefing, Coins.ph CEO Wei Zhou said OFWs can save on remittance cost if they use cryptocurrency instead of traditional methods such as banks and wire services where money transfer fees can be ridiculously high.

In 2023, OFWs sent $31 billion in remittances to relatives in the Philippines.

The company’s goal of targeting the OFW market also dovetails with its announcement is now extending its reach beyond national borders and joining a small cohort of local startups that have expanded globally.

The crypto firm’s global expansion is fueled by its rapid acquisition of licenses in various regions across the world. In addition to Europe and Latin America, the company previously announced it secured licenses in Australia and Africa.

“At Coins.ph, we’re not merely crossing borders, we’re redefining them. By securing licenses across various continents, we uphold our pioneering spirit in delivering regulated and compliant digital asset services, a legacy we’ve proudly established in the Philippines,” stated Zhou. 

Coins.ph, which now has 18 million users, was founded in 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Hose in 2014. As it grew, the company attracted international and local investors until Hose sold it to Indonesian ride-hailing firm Gojek for $72 million. In 2022, Zhou, a Chinese-American former chief financial officer of Binance, led the buyout of the startup for almost $200 million.

Beyond expansion, Coins.ph said it set to integrate the Solana chain by February. This, it said, will unlock access to an array of projects and assets being built on Solana, the third largest chain behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.

It also recently rolled out support for the Universal Money Address (UMA), allowing users to send and receive Bitcoin using email-like addresses instead of a complex string of alphanumeric characters that typically comprise wallet addresses.

“Our vision as we expand globally is to bridge the gap between the fiat world and the emerging digital asset economy,” said Zhou. “We do this by creating easy on and off-ramps and simplifying access to innovation so that every individual and business anywhere in the world can participate and thrive through safe and secure digital asset services by Coins.ph.”

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