Bitcoin Lightning Network to enable cross-border fiat transfers between EU and Africa

Bitnob and CoinCorner yesterday announced a partnership to offer instant, low-cost fiat transfers between Europe and Africa. Enabled by CoinCorner’s “Send Globally” feature, fiat currencies will be converted into Bitcoin and then transferred via the Lightning Network to Bitnob. Once Bitnob receives the funds, it converts them into the local currencies of Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, making these nations a focal point in crypto adoption across the continent. 

Ongoing crypto winter is not stopping push for global adoption

The partnership between CoinCorner and Bitnob brings a lower-cost cross-border transaction alternative to a continent which has until now, relied on third-party facilitators known for their expensive cuts, such as Western Union (a major provider of cross-border remittance services with no known plans to add crypto transfers to its services). 

The Lightning Network, on the other hand, was designed to make Bitcoin transactions as fast and cheap as possible. Invented in part to help Bitcoin function more like digital cash, it processes transactions “off-chain” much more quickly and cheaply than Bitcoin’s core blockchain.

This partnership highlights a strong use case of what crypto adoption could look like in removing the friction and cost that customers experience when using traditional FX and money remittance companies.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has an opportunity to power the future of how cryptocurrency is adopted in Africa. The partnership brings economic empowerment to a continent rife with emerging practical use cases for cryptocurrencies in regions that still remain the most expensive to send money to. 

Crypto adoption highlights pitfalls of the remittance market 

Cross-border transaction fees are of particular importance to potential crypto users in the region due to the prevalence of remittance usage. The World Bank reported that in the last year Sub-Saharan Africa made up 14.1% of global remittances, with remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa estimated at upwards of $40 billion yearly. However, most African countries restrict the kind of institutions that can offer remittance services, creating barriers to entry for the people who need it most. 

Just last September, the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority held preliminary talks with Binance and Talent City to discuss a “Virtual Free Zone”, designed to provide crypto-friendly laws, regulations and tax incentives for crypto businesses. 

As the trend continues, higher levels of crypto usage are expected where people continue to face issues that could be solved by crypto adoption.

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