The Government of El Salvador created the Chivo Wallet to send payments in dollars or Bitcoin. The El Salvador Central Reserve Bank reported that Chivo processed $50+ million in remittances in the first 5 months of 2022.
BitPay is an app for buying, storing, swapping, and spending cryptocurrency. Ralph Lauren partnered with BitPay to accept cryptocurrency payments - including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and MATIC - in its new store in Miami’s Design District.
Chronicled aims to automate transactions between trading partners in the Life Sciences Industry. It has partnerships with large companies like Pfizer, McKesson, Bayer, among others.
Circle began as a peer-to-peer payments technology company that now manages the stablecoin USD Coin (”USDC”). As of June 11, 2023, there’s $28+ billion USDC in circulation among 1.7 million holders. Circle is trusted by a number of large institutions including BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Mastercard, VISA, worldpay from FIS, MoneyGram, and Coinbase.
Diagonal allows businesses to integrate cryptocurrency payments as well as facilitates subscription payment services.
Through an integration with WhatsApp, Felix allows individuals to send fast and cheap payments, with a focus on Latin America.
Mercy Corps Ventures (”MCV”) partnered with Kotani Pay, SympliFy, UTU, and Kwanza Tukule (a social impact company in Africa) to launch a pilot in Nairobi, Kenya that leveraged DeFi to power a Buy-Now-Pay-Later (”BNPL”) product for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (”MSMEs”), specifically for food vendors. Kotani Pay is a platform that allows blockchain fintech companies to integrate with local payment channels in Africa. SympliFi is a payments platform that aims to increase access to credit for those seeking to launch or grow a business in Africa. UTU launched the “UTU Trust Engine,” a browser extension that aims to “create trust signals and personalized recommendations” for users engaging in transactions online.
Kuva enables businesses in emerging markets to make international payments faster and more cost effectively as compared with traditional means. Kuva has also launched Kuva Local, an e-commerce platform that allows locals and global customers to shop at local stores in a number of African countries.
A UNICEF portfolio company, Leaf Global Fintech, developed a virtual bank for refugees and vulnerable populations. It enabled the storage and transfer of assets across borders without the need for a smartphone. Leaf increased access to financial services for 7,000+ individuals and impacted 40,000+ beneficiaries. IDT Corporation acquired the company.
Lugano’s Plan B is a joint initiative between the City of Lugano and Tether to accelerate the use of and leverage Bitcoin technology to transform the city’s financial infrastructure.
MakerDAO is a decentralized global reserve bank that created the Maker protocol that underpins its stablecoin (called “DAI”), as well as provides other functionalities (like governance).
Medicalchain streamlines information flows in the medical field. It announced a partnership with The Groves Medical Group, making it the first medical practice in the UK to use blockchain technology and to accept cryptocurrency as payment for health services.
The Mento Protocol powers stablecoins that can be used to make payments (especially cross-border ones) faster and cheaper. In 2021, Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) partnered with the Celo Foundation and used the Mento Protocol for supporting un- and under-employed Kenyan youth with new and efficient income streams
MobileCoin is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency and payment system for merchants. Signal integrated MobileCoin into its app for sending P2P payments worldwide.
JPMorgan partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), DBS, and SBI Japan to test the potential of DeFi in traditional banking. In this pilot, JPM issued tokenized S$100,000 ($71,000) and traded it for tokenized yen with Japan’s SBI Digital Asset Holdings.
The economic turmoil and hyperinflation in LatAm is causing citizens to turn to cryptocurrencies for help. Reserve launched an app to convert fiat currency like Venezuelan bolivares for U.S. dollars via the Reserve stablecoin. After one year on the market in Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Argentina, Reserve reports 100,000+ weekly app visitors and 8,000+ merchants accepting it as a means of payment.
Sling allows users to send money to anyone, even if they don’t have a Sling account themselves.
Stripe launched Stripe Connect to extend its global payment services, and it will include cryptocurrency payments.
The Giving Block allows individuals to make a crypto or stock donation to nonprofits, charities, universities, faith-based, and other mission-driven organizations. These organizations include the American Cancer Society and Save the Children.
Valiu, a Mercy Corps Ventures (”MCV”) portfolio company, aimed to address the crisis in Venezuela - 4.5+ million displaced Venezuelans fleeing to Columbia for refuge - by allowing faster, cheaper, and safer remittance payments to those left behind. Valiu facilitated $8.4+ million USD in payments before shutting down operations in December 2021.
Yellow Card is the largest centralized cryptocurrency exchange in Africa. However, unlike in other centralized exchanges, the average Yellow Card customer stores money on the platform for about five minutes, using the exchange as a way to quickly send money across the border. Since its launch in 2019, Yellow Card has processed $1.75 billion in crypto remittances.