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Crypto wallet Pouch wants Boracay to become the Bitcoin Island of the Philippines

Around 120 businesses in Boracay have already agreed and teamed up with the wallet provider to enable the acceptance of BTC payments in their establishments.

Boracay, Philippines / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 22 Sep 2022, 08:52 am UTC

The Philippine island of Boracay is known worldwide as the perfect summer vacation destination with its powder white beaches, thrilling water activities, and vibrant nightlife. These days, however, the island appears to be on its way to bagging another title as the Bitcoin Island of the Philippines with its growing crypto adoption.

The growing crypto adoption in Boracay is all thanks to the efforts of the crypto wallet service Pouch. The company has been busy promoting the use of Bitcoin (BTC) in the vacation destination for the past four months, Inquirer.net reported.

Pouch’s Bitcoin campaign proved to be very successful. Around 120 businesses in Boracay have already agreed and teamed up with the wallet provider to enable the acceptance of BTC payments in their establishments.

“Right now, we are focused on getting businesses to accept payment so there is somewhere to spend,” Pouch VP Bill Hill told Be[In]Crypto in an interview. “The ability [for people] to top up their pre-paid phone credits with no fees on any carrier is a surprisingly killer app. The stores love it because it is a no-fuss way of being able to support all carriers at once.”

The company is targeting the multi-billion-dollar remittance market in the Philippines, which is the third largest in the world, by offering faster and cheaper transfers using Bitcoin. Hill explained that Filipinos could save millions of dollars yearly on commissions for remittances if they adopt Bitcoin and help those with no bank accounts access financial services.

“The remittance market is starting to happen. That is the big goal,” Hill said. “Over $35 billion comes into the country every year, losing about 7% to fees and taking one to three business days. We bring that down to around 1% or less and instantly.”

In 2021, Filipino overseas workers sent $31.4 billion back to their families in the Philippines. However, financial companies like banks often charge a hefty price tag for processing these remittances. In South Asia, the average remittance cost is above 5 percent of the remittance amount.

“If all the remittance market were to switch to bitcoin as rails, it would increase the GDP of the entire country by 1%,” he said. “This does not even include the gains for internal remittances within the country.”

Hill said that most of the 120 businesses that already agreed to accept Bitcoin payments are from the hospitality sector such as coffee shops and restaurants. “We are really trying to gear up for the start of tourist season in October,” he said. “Already, random bitcoiners are here, seeing the businesses and spending sats. The more that happens, the more the imperative to accept bitcoin.”

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