Home Fintech TransferWise Should Get Into the Blockchain Space

TransferWise Should Get Into the Blockchain Space

by Matthew Harris

Founded just shy of a decade ago and based in London, TransferWise is an online money transfer service that supports more than 750 currency routes across the world. Founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, both born in Estonia, TransferWise provides multi-currency accounts that includes USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, and more.

Hinrikus and Käärmann’s initial concept for TransferWise was to offer services much different than traditional currency transfers. Instead of being a broker that takes the difference between the buy and sell rates, TransferWise uses the inter-bank mid exchange rate and charges a small, very reasonable commission.

From launching in 2011 to a customer base of 4 million people that transfer an average of $4 billion per month and net profits reaching $8 million in 2018, these guys have shown that there is definitely a need for affordable and easy cross-border money transfers.

Hmm… Where have we heard that before?

Blockchain technology and a multitude of cryptocurrencies were basically spawned because of this exact need. A meshing of the two could be a huge win-win for both TransferWise and our ever-growing crypto ecosystem.

The Pros for TW

Scam ICOs and regulation uncertainty in the crypto industry has resulted in some organizations pausing, reconsidering, or even completely backing away from crypto and blockchain related projects. However, no matter how much some politicians may want to deny it, they’re both here to stay.

It’s just a matter of how the technology will be used.

I’ve actually used TransferWise numerous times this past year and I can immediately point to two benefits.

  1. Faster transactions — Even though I’ve had well over a dozen incoming transactions in the span of 10+ months, each and every one takes at least a business day to show as deposited. With blockchain, TransferWise could completely verify and complete the transaction within a matter of minutes.
  2. More profits — With the ability to process transactions virtually in real-time, the company could provide extremely accurate exchange rates. Additionally, a blockchain infrastructure would likely be considerably less overhead for TransferWise… which means more money in their pockets.

That’s just the benefits I thought of off the top of my head. I have no doubt that brighter minds than mine could come up with a huge list of potential advantages for the organization.

And like I said, the benefits can go both ways.

Pros for Blockchain

Once again, this is just the thoughts off the top of my head. TransferWise has been one of the better international money transfer services that I have dealt with. Have you seen MoneyGram’s fees?

They’ve made a name for themselves and are likely to continue strong for quite some time to come. And that name could be a huge boon to the blockchain industry.

With PayPal, MasterCard, and others recently backing out of Libra and the Securities and Exchange Commission going after a couple of crypto companies, a solid name like TransferWise could add a much needed shot of confidence towards mainstream adoption and usage.

It was recently reported that several of the world’s largest banks are investing in blockchain and that’s a huge step in the right direction. We all knew that they were bound to see the inherent benefits and eventually be forced to concede to incorporating the technology. And we’re getting there.

The more industries and brand names that not only associate themselves with blockchain, but also actually work to utilize and further its capabilities are exactly what the industry needs and deserves.

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