International businesses could win big on savings with ‘borderless’ accounts


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Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and chair of TransferWise, at the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, California on Oct. 25, 2016.

However, TransferWise is not the only fintech firm offering customers peer-to-peer transaction solutions. Blockchain-based start-ups are also beginning to occupy the digital space. For example, Boston-based Circle in June launched an international online service allowing users in the U.S. and Europe to transact money to each other instantly at no cost, Reuters reported.

But as for the popular tokens using blockchain technology, Hinrikus said he did not feel threatened.

“Up until now, we really haven’t seen how bitcoin or ethereum gets used by real people to buy goods, to pay for services,” he said.

The chairman added that blockchain is a “powerful way of democratizing certain aspects of governments and business,” and could in fact help TransferWise offer cheaper, faster and better services in the future — althought it remains too early to predict.

TransferWise is reportedly valued at about $1.6 billion, putting it firmly at “unicorn” status. It has also attracted some of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors, which most recently includes Twitter-backer IVP, according to reports.

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