The global remittance industry’s blockchain-based startups got a boost recently at the Remittance Technology (RemTECH) awards held at the United Nations in New York, from June 16 to 18 as part of the UN Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development.
Of the 11 award-winning remittance companies, five startups built on the blockchain were winners. The entries were judged on price, speed, the onboarding of enterprise clients (for white label solutions) and seamless delivery.
The aim of the RemTECH awards is to showcase the most innovative and outstanding ideas, models and projects designed to improve remittance services worldwide by improving transparency, speed, cost and reliability for companies and end-users that send and receive remittances.
Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, Director of the RemTECH Awards, told Bitcoin Magazine:
“Even though large money transfer companies still don’t see the importance of the breakthroughs of blockchain-based and Bitcoin remittance startups, the RemTECH Judging Panel was impressed by some of the solutions presented by companies like Bitso and Everex, just to name two of them.”
“The Awards gave new blockchain startups a chance to shine in the spotlight of the United Nations Forum where the public and private sector met to discuss the challenges of the remittance industry. At IMTC (International Money Transfer Conferences) we are striving to create this dialog of incumbents and fintech firms to work together and create win-win partnerships. It’s not easy but it is happening,” added Cuevas-Mohr.
Bitcoin and blockchain services AirPocket, Bitso, Everex, Moneytis and Trulioo took home the following awards:
Remittances and Financial Inclusion: AirPocket
AirPocket, built on the Bitcoin blockchain, serves Latin America with tens of thousands of payout locations and is supported by the top banks in each country.
Pioneering Spirit: Bitso
Mexican bitcoin exchange Bitso, which raised $2.5 million last September, has been working with Canadian payments startup Paycase to create a new remittance corridor between the two countries and send funds from bank accounts in Canada to Mexico.
Most Innovative Service: Moneytis
Bitcoin blockchain-based Moneytis aims to offer the lowest possible fees to help empower unbanked groups in the developing world. They also have a notification service that monitors all exchange rates in real-time and sends alerts when a significant change happens.
Potential for Growth: Trulioo
Trulioo is a Canadian blockchain-based financial technology company that in addition to remittance services, offers identity verification services for businesses and organizations worldwide using government and private databases.
Service Originality: Everex
Everex was the only Ethereum-based platform nominated. In addition to its contributions to remittance services, Everex has also developed a system for placing national currencies on the blockchain. By doing so, Everex allows people living in cash-based societies to earn a public financial reputation.
“The judges knew about Ethereum, and were excited by the ongoing experiments taking place on the network by individual users, small businesses and multinational corporations,” said Alexi Lane, CEO of Everex, in a statement. “This technology will transform the remittance industry and increase financial inclusion everywhere.”
Greta Geankoplis, a CEO and IMTC (International Money Transfer & Payments Conferences) advisor and entrepreneur who has developed blockchain systems and technology, co-chaired the judges panel. She told Bitcoin Magazine:
“Blockchain (and some Bitcoin specifically) platform-based companies competed shoulder to shoulder with older technology for delivering cross-border value to diverse customers in widely varying environments.
But this is just the beginning. Blockchain platforms in the $700 billion remittance industry holds the promise of leveraging many other needed services in the fastest growing markets: mobile based, micro insurance, loans, education, and remote healthcare to name a few.”
Other blockchain-based companies that were nominated for a RemTECH award included Bitex, Cashaa, DigitalX and OKLink.