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Bitcoin Startup ZipZap.com Could Give Western Union a Run for its Money

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Feb/11/2014
Bitcoin Startup ZipZap.com Could Give Western Union a Run for its Money

CNN Fortune published an article warning that bitcoin start up ZipZap.com could fast become stiff competition for international money exchange outfit Western Union. 

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Up until now, Western Union has operated nearly as a monopoly.

ZipZap was set to launch a cash-for-bitcoin services at 28,000 retail locations in the U.K., including omnipresent convenience stores such as Spar and Tesco Express.

David Z. Morris of Fortune explains how the process works:

To buy bitcoin, buyers connect a ZipZap account to their bitcoin wallet, then print or load to their smartphone a scannable barcode that they take to a ZipZap affiliate location. A clerk scans their barcode, then accepts their cash payment. Bitcoins arrive in their wallets within minutes through one of ZipZap's partner bitcoin exchanges. Fees for the service are currently £3.95 (about $6.50), with a maximum £300.00 ($500) worth of bitcoin purchased.

Morris adds that the ZipZap.com concept now makes it easy for those not savvy in bitcoin transactions to utilize the anonymous digital currency. 

From Fortune:

ZipZap's ultimate goal, though, is not just to help curious first-worlders buy bitcoin, but to provide both cash-in and cash-out capabilities globally. "We're in the process of making our brand trustable, at least for the cash-in process, and then we will launch the cash-out process," says Joaquin Moreno, ZipZap's regional manager for Latin America. "Once [buyers] get the bitcoin, they can use them online, or they can send it to their family around the world," says ZipZap CEO Alan Safahi. By providing on- and off-ramps to the global, nearly-free Bitcoin network, ZipZap would create a remittance system to rival those of Western Union and Moneygram.

While bitcoin is only now starting to catch on with online gambling companies, Western Union and Moneygram have long been a staple of the sports betting side.  It was one of the first methods utilized to transfer funds back and forth between players and the North American-facing offshore sportsbooks before the Internet became prevalent.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com  

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