Bloom Solutions

How cryptocurrencies ease money transfers for migrant workers

Bloom Solutions uses the power of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to solve real-world problems, such as money transfer for the world's 230 million migrants

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February 5, 2018

Bloom Solutions uses the power of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to solve real-world problems, such as money transfer for the world’s 230 million migrants

The worldwide cryptocurrency market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars

Bloom Solutions uses blockchain technologies to drastically reduce the cost of sending funds overseas. In July, the Philippines-based company was accepted into Google’s Launchpad Accelerator programme and has overseen $100m worth of remittances. Co-founder Luis Buenaventura Il broke down the company’s business model and gave his two cents on what’s in store for cryptocurrencies.

Tell us about Bloom Solutions…
Bloom has been around since late 2015. The mission has always been about figuring out how to apply blockchain technologies, specifically bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, to real-world problems. The problem that we’ve decided to focus on right now is money transfer. There are about 230 million migrants in the world at any given moment, and the industry is worth about $0.5 trillion annually… Using cryptocurrencies can reduce the cost of sending money home by up to 50%.

What’s your business strategy?
What Bloom does is take the whole kit and caboodle of cryptocurrency and blockchain, package it up in a simple way and then offer it to pre-existing remittance businesses that have already earned the trust of local migrant workers… The average migrant worker does not… really care how the process of moving funds actually works. What’s important to them is that it’s reliable, it’s safe and it’s affordable.

Bloom Solutions co-founder Luis Buenaventura Il

What are the main applications of cryptocurrencies at the moment?
I think investment is still the largest by far. Over the next year or two, we will see an increase in the number of ways people can convert their regular money into cryptocurrencies.

People have said that developing countries could reduce land conflict by creating a blockchain-based land registry…
The idea that you will be able to describe agreements on the blockchain – that’s been around since ethereum [cryptocurrency] was invented, which was in 2014. The problem is, if you and I have a dispute over land, and I point at a smart contract on the ethereum blockchain as proof that I own the land and you don’t – that doesn’t actually stop you from moving in anyway… There is a consequence to real-world agreements that you can’t describe on the blockchain, which implies that, in order for technologies like this to take hold, governments have to fully embrace blockchain – and we’re so far from that point.

This article was published in the February edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.

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