Business 13 November 2018

Dennis Wafula

Tokyo-based insurer Sompo teams up with Africa’s BitPesa to digitize remittance

Sompo, a Japanese insurance company, has partnered with BitPesa, a pan-African digital payment platform, as part of its bid to increase the company’s global presence.

In a statement posted last November 9, Sompo said its partnership with BitPesa is focused on the “digitalization of global remittance services,” noting: “Using BitPesa’s technology, developed through various experiments in remittances and settlements, we will extend our presence in the international remittance service market and consider the application of this technology to the insurance field.”

The partnership will see Sompo utilize BitPesa’s crypto-enabled fiat remittance services to help the Japanese insurer lower the costs and time it takes for transfer of value around the world.

The news comes weeks after another Japanese player, SBI Remit, teamed up with the pan-African blockchain company to bring distributed ledger to transactions between the two regions. According to Cointelegraph Japan, Sompo Holdings has reportedly invested JPY570 million ($5 million) last week for a 10% stake in BitPesa.

Using BitPesa’s international remittance services, Sompo can extend its existing network to reach a broader customer base. BitPesa, also known as BTC Africa, was launched in 2013. Since its launch, BitPesa has made quite a name for itself, focusing on bringing transparency and liquidity to the African continent with cryptocurrency. The firm has rapidly grown its business by helping small and medium-sized enterprises through international partnerships.

BitPesa has secured venture capital funding from VC firms like Draper VC, Digital Currency Group, and Pantera Capital. The agency has used the funding to develop a global remittance network with BTC as a base currency to improve financial infrastructure involving the growing world, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

The two Japanese financial services companies will help BitPesa to expand its international remittance service. The two agreements with SBI Remit and Sompo Holdings should help customers move money between Japan and African countries without third parties. BitPesa simplifies the process by using blockchain to create new currency pairs between Japanese yen and the fiat currencies of Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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