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

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
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. 


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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