Violence has returned to headlines in Mexico in 2016. But, positive news abounds for a country rich in resources and hardworking people.
It seems many among the Mexican people, as well, are curious about Bitcoin - and eager to help. As CEO of Bitwala, a blockchain bank and exchange, Jörg von Minckwitz has never seen such big interest in a new currency the startup added to its platform. Minckwitz believes Mexico is an interesting market in two ways.
“There are a lot of unbanked people in Mexico, so naturally an interesting Bitcoin market,” he told CCN. “Also, there are a lot of cross border payments to Mexico and they are still overcharged heavily.”
BitWala wants to bring the fees down.
Some people want to build walls in Mexico, we want to tear them down - at least financial walls.
There is a formidable Bitcoin base in the country. The nation's bitcoin enthusiast Facebook group has more than 5,000 members. But Brasil's has more than 22,000 members. This is not a perfect gauge, to be sure, considering the groups are international in nature. One need not live in country to join.
“We had right away many people offering help and high visitor numbers,” he said. Before the announcement, Bitwala had almost no visitors from Mexico. “Since a few days it is one of the strongest nations in terms of visitors on our website.”
Bitwala is penetrating Mexico like every other market that we go to. “Through the community," Minckwitz shared. "We are a company that started out of the Bitcoin community, we don't pay for advertising. Everything we achieved is just because of our supporters and fans inside the Bitcoin community. We are really thankful for that, it is a real gift.” He believes Bitcoin can help, foremost, the Mexican people.
“Bitcoin can help people without a bank account to take part in a normal life, to shop on the internet, to save money on transaction costs and really solving basic needs,” he said. “We hope that in the end we can maybe can get people in Mexico to start their own businesses since with Bitwala they have possibilities that did not exist before.”
Heretofore, Mexico has largely been served by the Bitcoin exchange Bitso, which just partnered with the company Bitwage to offer payroll payments in the nation of more than 100 million.
"It [Bitso] opens up the doors for freelancers in Mexico to seek international opportunities using the most efficient payment rail with the lowest transfer fees," Bitso CEO Pablo Gonzalez said in a statement.
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