In 2018, remittance flows into Latin America and the Caribbean increased by almost 10%, with Mexico receiving the largest amount of these payments in the region with over $35.7B transacted every year. Remittances are vital for the economy and an important source of financial support for many households in the region. Technologies like blockchain and digital assets could transform the remittance landscape by making it easier, quicker and cheaper to send money across borders. At Ripple, we are building new rails and working with our infrastructure partners to make this future a reality.
That’s why Ripple is excited to announce that we are leading an investment round in Bitso, the leading exchange in Latin America, and that I am joining the board of directors.
Ripple’s partnership with Bitso starts at the beginning—I met the team back in 2014 and saw the technology they had built and thought, “This four person shop is able to send money across borders with technology faster than the big banks. That’s incredible. It reminded me of sending my first email instantly to a friend across the world.” This innovative company plays a vital role in RippleNet’s US – MXN corridor by providing critical liquidity for payments. Earlier this year, Ripple launched On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) capabilities with MoneyGram into Mexico, with Bitso as the key exchange partner. As Ripple expands ODL in Latin America, so too will our partnership with Bitso.
Launched in 2014, Bitso was the first cryptocurrency exchange in Mexico and had an ambitious mission to provide financial services for both the banked and unbanked with blockchain technology and digital assets. Today, they are the largest exchange in Mexico with a customer base of 750,000 and counting. Bitso’s products have a strong focus on ease of use, which has helped drive the adoption of cryptocurrency among a broad audience including retail consumers, traders and institutional customers.
At Ripple, we work with regulated institutions to provide consumer protections and safeguards. Two months ago, Bitso became Latin America’s first DLT licensed exchange regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). With this license, Bitso is poised to be one of the most innovative and consumer-friendly financial services providers in LatAm.
The Bitso team is unparalleled—their technology was built from the ground up through years of experience with scalable and reliable distributed systems. The company and team are well positioned to execute a global expansion to LatAm and we are excited to partner with them in this next phase of growth.