Blockchain-based payments start-up Circle Internet Financial on Thursday launched an international online money transfer service that allows people in the United States and Europe to send money to each other instantly and at no cost as it seeks to tear down borders in the payments world.
According to Reuters, the new service is part of a push by the “fintech” – or financial technology – sector to compete with established financial institutions, by using digital technologies to offer cheaper and more user-friendly services, often via smartphones.
Boston-based Circle Internet operates its app-based peer-to-peer payment network using blockchain, the technology which first emerged as the system underpinning cryptocurrency bitcoin.
One of the most well-funded blockchain startups, its investors include Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Baidu Inc (BIDU.O).
Circle Internet’s international money transfer service, built on a type of blockchain called Ethereum, will allow customers to send payments between US dollars, British pound sterling or euros on their mobile phones. There are no fees or foreign exchange mark-ups.
International payments, according to Circle’s chief executive officer and founder, Jeremy Allaire, should not take days to be processed and should be as easy and frictionless as sending an email.