Hive, one of the many Bitcoin startups around the world looking to unify financial services with blockchain technology, recently won the finals of Fintech Americas, an important event in the world of finance. Even though this competition was designed to find the “next big thing” in the remittance sector, Hive offers a lot more functionality than just that.
International Remittances Are A Pain In The Neck
It is no secret that sending money around the world is neither quick, convenient, nor cheap. Traditional services such as MoneyGram and Western Union are ridiculously expensive to use, both for sender and recipient. Furthermore, finding one of these company’s offices in remote locations, such as the African continent, for example, is not an easy task either.
Statistics indicate international remittances will account for over US$1,000 trillion by the end of 2015, of which US$60 trillion are fees paid by the users. While it may only seem logical to have such a booming business generate a ton of fees, this is not the way forward for remittance solutions. Users should not pay such hefty fees because the traditional financial system is degenerating rapidly.
Additionally, there is the risk of walking around with larger sums of paper money. Recipients of remittance funds can become the target of assault and theft, making the entire remittance ecosystem even riskier than it should be. Luckily for all parties involved, solutions are being developed to create a better user experience.
The potential for a solution such as Hive is clear for everyone to see, and with the popularity of banks and other financial institutions dwindling even further, new solutions have to be created soon. Empowering people – often referred to as crowdsourcing – is a major step in the right direction to bring financial services to everybody in the world.
What is Hive, and How Does it Work?
Hive was created by Bit2Me, a platform designed to facilitate the buying and selling of Bitcoin in exchange for fiat currency. What makes Bit2Me so interesting is how users don’t need to register to use this platform and all transactions can be completed in just three steps. Bit2ME was also awarded the best Spanish Startup 2015 earlier this year.
Unlike other financial tools, Hive gives its users the chance to self-organize, similar to how a true peer-to-peer financial network would work. Depositing financial products, such as remittances and loans, while avoiding any intermediary company and having all products backed by tamper-proof blockchain technology, make Hive such a success.
As you would come to expect, Hive is a mobile phone application, which embraces the transparency and user-friendliness aspects of the underlying blockchain technology. Multiple currency balances are supported, including EUR, USD, and Pesos. In fact, one could go as far as saying Hive is aiming to be a peer-to-peer bank.
“With our slogan “connecting money” we look for a very clear objective: to create all the infrastructure necessary for a P2P Bank. It is hard work, but it is not about a technological challenge, which we have already solved, it is about a cultural and psychological challenge: make people understand that it is possible to self-organize to solve these kind of problems, and just with a few clicks” – Hive founder Bogdan Stirbu explained in a press release.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of Hive, Shutterstock, Bit2Me