bitcoinmagazine.com 54 m Reading time: ~3 m
Block’s TBD, a Bitcoin-focused developer platform, has partnered with Yellow Card to unlock a network of fiat on- and off-ramps and payments via Bitcoin in 16 African countries. This aims to make cross-border payments and liquidity exchanges more accessible and affordable, and provide compliant cross-border payments and fiat off-ramps, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine. Yellow Card will be a launch partner for the Web5 protocol and the tbDEX liquidity network.
Currently, cross-border payments in Africa can incur fees of almost 10% and take several days to clear using available systems. In March 2023, TBD and Yellow Card conducted a successful proof of concept for payment rails from the U.S. to Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, in real time. Senders can initiate remittances in USD, while recipients can receive local fiat currency into bank accounts or mobile money wallets, such as M-PESA and MTN. TBD converts the USD into Bitcoin or stablecoins and facilitates the exchange between digital assets and local fiat currencies.
Alternatively, recipients can opt to hold their value in Bitcoin or USD stablecoins, which is “particularly valuable if they live in regions impacted by local currency volatility or hyperinflation,” the press release describes. TBD’s next goal is to establish decentralized identity, trust and transaction protocols that enable a ubiquity of decentralized and trusted exchanges to occur.
Yellow Card will be one of TBD’s first partners to enable global payments and fiat off-ramps for end consumers to send USD or Bitcoin and receive payments in local fiat currencies. TBD provides APIs and developer services that make it easy for app developers to embed functionality that enables these transactions to happen in real-time for their end consumers. The partnership is part of Block’s vision of developing global on- and off-ramps, with the goal of enabling the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin in commercial and financial applications at scale.
“We’re thrilled to work with TBD and the Block team on tbDEX and their global payments initiatives,” said Chris Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card. “The international payments space, especially in Africa, is in dire need of the innovative solutions we are building together, and this is the culmination of the vision behind Block’s initial investment in Yellow Card in 2021.”
“We’re focused on advancing Block’s purpose of economic empowerment by breaking down the barriers to financial access across the Global South,” commented Emily Chiu, TBD co-founder and COO. “For TBD, this starts with driving more affordable cross-border payments and commerce to bring us closer to a more efficient and inclusive global economy. Yellow Card’s shared passion and expertise across the African continent makes them a partner we’re excited to accomplish this with.”
Wallets, fintech applications or liquidity platforms looking to connect with TBD are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.