Welcome Bonus: Sign Up & Get Up to $150 in BTC

Get Started

The role of cash in global crypto markets

With the benefits of ‘going cashless’ repeated endlessly in the media and Fintech circles there seems to be an assumption that just by making digital financial services available, cash automatically becomes obsolete.

The role of cash in global crypto markets

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

👋 Want to work with us? CryptoSlate is hiring for a handful of positions!

With the benefits of ‘going cashless’ repeated endlessly in the media and Fintech circles there seems to be an assumption that just by making digital financial services available, cash automatically becomes obsolete. The reality on the ground is that digital services are not replacing cash, but instead, cash is a necessity for digital services to take off in the first place.

According to the World Cash Report by G4S, cash circulation relative to GDP has increased by 9.6 percent across all continents and accounted for 60-80 percent of smaller value transactions. Even mobile money providers, which outsiders often consider heroes of going cashless, rely heavily on cash.

A Science Journal study on mobile money platforms in Kenya found that easy cash in, cash out options were vital for adoption with similar findings in other reports across Africa and Asia. Mobile money platforms in Zimbabwe have reported that consumers often pay premiums of up to 50 percent to get cash from mobile money agents, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently reported month-over-month growth rates as high as 17.7 percent for cash transactions.

All of this indicates that cash still reigns supreme. However, there is a definite appetite for digital money and the benefits it brings. The only thing people need is an easy way to move between digital and cash — this is a condition for adoption and crypto is no exception.

Crypto needs a connection to cash

Despite recent market swings, the overall trend for crypto is up all around the world. Every day, more people are getting into crypto, finding out how it works and how they can use it in everyday life. Certainly, during the last year, more companies have introduced services that serve a practical need — like payments for example — which has kept the momentum going as more retailers are now accepting crypto payments.

But for crypto to make it on the big stage, it needs a better connection to cash. Currently, crypto best serves people that already have access to some form of digital money. For crypto to be used in every possible market, it needs to be accessible to more people in a way that meets their reality.

In particular, stablecoins tied to national currencies are perfectly suited for this as they simplify the process of converting cash to digital money, without having to deal with the volatility of an asset like Bitcoin. Once you have stablecoins, you are connected to the vast world of crypto.

While most stablecoins are trusted and pegged to the US Dollar, we are increasingly seeing new projects branching out to include stablecoins for other currencies such as Euro, Hong Kong dollar, Australian dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Philippine peso, Brazilian real, Vietnamese dong, South African rand and potentially many more.

This is where trustless stablecoins especially come into play. Creating a trustless stablecoin for Vietnamese dong is relatively easy and with that, you can start serving the local market, which is far less painful than going through the traditional banking system trying to reach the same people. The only thing we need are the tools to make buying and selling stablecoins with cash easier for everyone. Cash points are our answer to that need.

The world of cash to crypto trading is yours

Cash Points are user-generated locations connected to Bitspark where people can exchange cash to crypto and vice versa. Cash makes it practical, and the way it works is simple:

  1. Bitspark releases stablecoins pegged to local currencies
  2. Cash Points are a place where people buy or sell stablecoins using cash
  3. Customers exchange their stablecoins for other cryptocurrencies using the Bitspark mobile app

But just a connection to cash alone is not what makes this big. The real multiplier is the fact that anyone can open their own Cash Point. Anyone can go to Bitspark, create an account, and start offering cash trades in a way that works for them.

If you see the potential for a cash-to-crypto service in your area and you want to know how to get started, subscribe to our newsletter tailored for becoming a cash point. This way you’ll be the first to know about my next online hangout where I talk with people from all over the world about what it takes to set up your own cash point.

Guest post by Maxine Ryan from Bitspark

In 2014, Bitspark was the first to send a cash in, cash out Bitcoin transfer between Hong Kong and the Philippines. Since then, Bitspark has pushed crypto usage forward by building market ready, cash to crypto products and services that make it easier to buy, exchange and sell crypto with cash. That's how Bitspark makes crypto simple, accessible, and part of everyday life.

Learn more →