Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Is Enabling Instant Fiat Transfers Between Europe And Africa
Nigerians, Kenyans and Ghanaians can now receive instant, low-cost remittances in local currency from the EU and the UK through Bitcoin’s Lightning.
In a statement released on Monday, bitcoin app CoinCorner announced that it had made Send Globally available to its EU and U.K. users. This feature enables foreign users to send money to Africa quickly and affordably.
The achievement is made possible by a collaboration with the African Bitcoin app Bitnob, which follows a similar collaboration with the Lightning payments app Strike.
Last week, Strike enabled Send Globally for its American users, enabling them to send money instantly and cheaply to bank accounts in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.
With the help of the Lightning Network, a peer-to-peer currency’s overlay protocol for quick and inexpensive payments, Bitnob connects local residents with those in the U.S., EU, and U.K.
“For us at Bitnob, this is another leap forward in economic empowerment for Africans. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to, where sending $200 costs an average of 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to the World Bank. Bitcoin is powering the future of money and this partnership highlights a strong use case of what the future will look like,” said Bernard Parah, CEO of Bitnob, in a statement.
The local Bitcoin apps are used by Send Globally as the on- and off-ramps for fiat. U.S. dollars, euros, or British pounds are first converted into bitcoin by Strike or CoinCorner. After that, Lightning is used to deliver the BTC to Bitnob. The African app then sends the corresponding sum in local currency to the receiving user. Despite all of these steps, Lightning’s efficiency and speed make the process affordable and nearly instantaneous.
“The borderless nature of Bitcoin has always made it a great tool for sending money around the world, but now with the Lightning Network, sending Bitcoin is instant and very low cost. By partnering with Bitnob to provide a seamless cross-border experience using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, we hope to remove some of the friction and cost that customers experience when using traditional FX and money remittance companies,”said Danny Scott, CoinCorner CEO.