The CEO of Bitspark George Harrap says that Bitcoin is a better solution than XRP for global remittance because of its widespread acceptance and sufficient liquidity.
George has been an early adopter of bitcoin and blockchain technologies, having started in early 2011 and in 2014 co-founded Bitspark with the intention of bringing greater financial access to developing countries through the use of bitcoin as a form of payment.
Predominantly the remittance world is a cash-based traditional industry. It is dominated by incumbent cash agent networks, banks and supported by money transfer operators (MTOs). The reason for the prevalence of cash is simple – it’s used by the majority of people around the world.
Bitcoin is already used by crypto remittance companies, as well as traditional money exchange companies alike, and the liquidity for bitcoin is far higher in many remittance-associated fiat currencies (PHP, IDR, CNY, INR, VND, etc).
Money transfer companies are more likely to see value in Xcurrent, which may assist in a small capacity, but as a non-bank, they still need to settle payments with a bank account and SWIFT. If you transact with another bank or non-bank provider via Xcurrent, and you owe them money at the close of the day, Xcurrent does not facilitate settlement as there is no token of value.
Given these issues, it is unsurprising that Ripple hasn’t been able to break into the remittance industry with the Xrapid or Xcurrent products. There are hundreds of thousands of companies globally using bitcoin for payments and it has been traded 24/7 for 10 years without fail. It is the most liquid cryptocurrency by a huge margin and usually the gateway for all other tokens. The key role bitcoin provides is that it generally is the only cryptocurrency that is tradable for local fiat currencies in emerging markets.
Bitcoin can be used for settlement as it is a token of value that is physically deliverable at the other end and exchangeable for a number of local fiat currencies. The same is not true of USD (intermediaries usually offline), oil (traded in USD only) or gold (expensive and impractical to physically deliver).