Can Bitcoin Be Used Internationally?
One area that greatly interests new adopters of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is its usefulness as an international currency, or its value in making international money transfers. Since a Bitcoin’s value is the same all over the world, there is no conversion rate or conversion fee, but that is only one consideration of many as we consider the applications of Bitcoin for both international travel and money transfer.
International Travel and Bitcoin
Now that there are Bitcoin-funded debit cards, using Bitcoin on international travels is as simple as using any other currency, and has the added benefit of low transaction fees and no conversion fees. Bitcoin solves many problems that international travelers currently deal with. It eliminates the hassle of converting cash to local currencies, and then carrying that vulnerable-to-theft cash. Moreover, it securely protects the payment information of users to reduce the risk of fraud. This is especially important when traveling, because a fraud attempt could cause the bank to cut off your account access while they deal with the breach—and you’re in a foreign country with no cash.
Bitcoin and International Money Transfers
Companies that do business on a global scale may be considering adopting Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to their uniform value across borders. Using Bitcoin has the potential to significantly streamline the transfer of capital if everyone is using it. Universal adoption is far in the future at this moment, so this is a possibility rather than an inevitability. What Bitcoin can do for consumers right now is make an immediate difference in the lives of people who receive international money transfers to live on. If someone in the U.S. wires money to their family in India, 10% of that may go to wore transfer fees. $500 just became $450, and that $50 makes a big difference to a poor family in many parts of the world. If Bitcoin can make that transfer for 4%, that family gets to keep more of the money their relatives meant them to have. This is a real and useful difference that Bitcoin can make in international money transfers. There are, still, kinks for Bitcoin to work out—such as recourse for consumers if anything goes wrong—but there is great potential for good in prospect of inexpensive international money transfers.
Bitcoin may in time be a seamless way for us to pay for goods and services, and has the potential to make international travel and money transfers simple transactions with no worry about conversion or high fees. That said, Bitcoin, like all cryptocurrencies, is a very young currency that does not yet have the recognition and acceptance that may be necessary for universal application. Be sure to do further research if you wish to travel or transfer money internationally.