Does Bitcoin work for international money transfers? | finder.com
aerial view of a team working together on an office table

Using Bitcoins for international money transfers

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Bitcoin could one day offer a simple, safe and affordable way to send money across international borders.

In September 2015, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac alongside Barclays, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan participated in the international R3 project with a financial innovation company, Ripple Labs. The R3 project is focused on creating a distributed ledger technology that works much in the same way as the ‘blockchain’ structure on which all Bitcoin transactions are based. The aim of the project was to help the banks transfer funds to one another at a lower cost.

But what sort of impact will Bitcoin have on global finance and will it one day represent a safe and effective international transfer option? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that was established in 2008. Commonly referred to as the currency of the Internet, it is based on a peer-to-peer network that allows users to pay others using a digital unit of exchange called Bitcoins. These Bitcoins are stored in the user’s digital wallet.

This alternative payment system removes the need for a centralized authority and instead uses a public ledger known as the ‘blockchain’. This contains all processed Bitcoin transactions and allows new transactions to be verified and a user’s wallet to calculate its spendable balance.

Just like any other currency, the value of Bitcoin is determined by supply and demand, and in its early years it has been known to fluctuate wildly in value. At the time of writing, 1 Bitcoin was worth $404. But if you wind back the clock just a little, after hovering around the $100 to $110 mark in September and October of 2013, by December the value of 1 Bitcoin had climbed above $995.

If you want more information on how and where you can buy Bitcoins, our handy guide has all the details you need.
Bitcoin mining: Can I make money doing it?

The impact of Bitcoin

In the early years of its existence, Bitcoin came in for criticism from several quarters due to a range of factors. In some cases, it has received bad press for making it possible for people to anonymously purchase illegal goods online. Its volatility, as demonstrated above, has also been criticized, while others have pointed to the lack of regulation of Bitcoin as grounds for concern. It could lead to money laundering and even the financing of terrorism.

Every new technology is bound to attract its share of criticism. Despite its detractors, Bitcoin does have many potential benefits for a range of people. It has been lauded by international migrants from companies such as the Philippines and India because it offers an affordable way to send money home to their families while working overseas.

Bitcoin’s benefits include low transfer fees, protection against identity theft and the control they allow users to have over their own money.
Bitcoin vs. PayPal

Compare Bitcoin marketplaces

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, INR, ARS, BRL, CAD, CNY. NZD, DKK, HKD, ILS, JPY, KES, CHF, MXN, NOK, PHP, PLN, SGD, SEK, AED
BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BAT, DASH, BTG, XRP, VOX
Refer a friend to earn US$20 — $10 for you and $10 for the person you refer.
Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.
Bank transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, ETC, DASH, XRP, LTC, BCH, XLM, NEO, EOS, ADA
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange - Global
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, BCH, EOS, MIOTA, ZRX, AE, AION, REP, DGD, ICX, IOST, OMG, PPT, SNT, TRX, & 100+ more
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.
Credit card
Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, ETC, ZRX, BAT
Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of any crypto. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cash
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, LTC, ADA, QTUM, XRP
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Credit card
Debit card
OKPAY
PayPal
Skrill
SOFORT
EUR, USD, CHF, GBP
BTC
Buy bitcoin through PayPal on one of the oldest virtual currency exchanges in the business.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, BTG, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM, GUSD
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
bitFlyer Cryptocurrency Exchange - US
Bank transfer
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, JPY
BTC, ETH, BCH
With options to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins through credit card, wire transfer and more, BitfFyer offers users the choice of paying with cryptocurrency or USD, EUR and JPY.
SatoshiTango Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer
Cash
Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (SEPA)
ARS, USD, EUR
BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH, BCH
SatoshiTango is an Argentina-based marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or trade Bitcoins.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL, GAS, LTC, ZRX, QTUM, ETH, ETC, VET, ICX & 300+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Credit card
Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, & 75+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
xCoins P2P Bitcoin Lending
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
eCheck
PayPal
USD
BTC
Buy bitcoin instantly with credit card, PayPal or bank account on this peer-to-peer lending platform.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, PAI, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, & 78+ more
Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Coinbase Pro
Bank transfer (ACH)
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, ETC, ZRX, BAT
Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is a US-based exchange which offers fiat currency payment options, including wire transfer, ACH bank transfer and SEPA.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ADA, QTUM, ETC, XMR, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, REP, MLN, ZEC, USDT, GNO, EOS
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Exchange multiple cryptocurrencies through a range of payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA or wire transfer.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP
A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, BOXX, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, & 128+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Electronic Funds Transfer
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, LTC, ZEC,GUSD
Trade bitcoin and Ethereum at a US-based exchange where payments can be made in USD.
Exmo Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Payeer
Perfect Money
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT, ADA, INK
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
YoBit Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
USD, RUB
BTC, BTG, DASH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, WAVES, LSK, BCC, TRX, ABYSS, PAC, ZEC, XVG, EOS, ETC, & 404+ more
Pay in USD, RUB or trade crypto to crypto at this Russian-based cryptocurrency exchange with hundreds of coins listed.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, XMR, DAG, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, ADA, TRX, NEO, ONT, STEEM, BTM, BCD, ZINC, VET, OLT, USDT, BSV, & 134+ more
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
HADAX (Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset eXchange)
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, 18T, BUT, LXT, CDC, UUU, AAC, CNN, UIP, UC, GSC, IIC, MEX, EGCC, SHE
Owned by the team behind Huobi.pro, HADAX lets users vote for cryptocurrencies it should list.
Mercatox Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Yandex Money
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, ETH, DCN, BCH, NIO, TRX, DASH, COB, DOGE, PRIX, DSR, XCPO, LTC, XRB, VERI, LOC, & 84+ more
Supporting over 100 coins, you can exchange a variety of cryptocurrency pairs on this peer-to-peer platform.
CryptoBridge Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, RVN, LTC, ALQO, LCC, ECA, SMART, POLIS, BCO, COLX, IC, XP, BWK, HTML, QBIC, & over 44+ more
Offering over 80 cryptocurrency pairings, CryptoBridge is a decentralised exchange that supports the trading of popular altcoins.
Bleutrade Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BTG, DASH, ZET, XVP, XPM, WDC, VTC, VRC, UNO, TROLL, START, SLR, SLG, RDD, & 32+ more
Trade an array of cryptocurrencies through this globally accessible exchange based in Brazil.
BitQuick P2P Bitcoin Marketplace
Cash
Western Union
USD
BTC
Buy and sell bitcoin fast through a cash deposit at your local bank branch or credit union, or via a money transfer service.
Cryptonit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Advance Cash
Wire transfer
EUR, USD
BTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC
Cryptonit is a secure platform for trading fiat currency for bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin and other cryptocurrencies which can be delivered to your digital wallet of choice.
Cash
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Flexepin
iDEAL
Neosurf
Neteller
PayPal
Perfect Money
SWIFT
Western Union
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC
Connect with bitcoin buyers and sellers through this peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts cash, credit and more than 300 other payment methods.
Livecoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Payeer
Perfect Money
Qiwi
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BCH, ETH, LSK, LTC, XMR, XEM, DASH, BCC, CLOAK, EMC, NEO, TIME, SHIFT, STRAT, & 146+ more
Trade at an exchange that has an extensive offering over 160 coins and numerous fiat and altcoin currency pairs.
Altcoin.io Decentralised Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
*Note that while the platform is under development, it is expected to support BTC, ETH, REP, ANT, BAT, EOS, SALT, CVC, DNT, SNT & 20+ more
Launching in 2018, Altcoin.io is a decentralised peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange powered by atomic swaps. Sign up now for early access.
ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, GAME & 29+ more
Quickly swap between more than 40 cryptocurrency assets or use your credit card to instantly buy bitcoin.
BigONE Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, EOS, USDT, ADX, AE, AIT, ATN, ATT, BAT, BCDN, BIG, BTO, CANDY, CDT, CHAT, AT, CPS & over 60+ more
A crypto-to-crypto exchange listing over 100 pairings and low trading fees.
Poloniex Digital Asset Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR, LOOM, BAT & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.
IDEX Cryptocurrency Exchange
IDEX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
EOS, RFR, CS, AUC, BEE, BANCA, CNN, EOSDAC, FSN, NBAI, TRAC, VET, XBP & 60+ more
A decentralised cryptocurrency exchange where you can trade over 250 ERC20 tokens.
Stellarport Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
XLM, BTC, BCH, USDT, OMG, ZRX, KIN, MOBI & more
Stellarport taps into the Stellar Decentralised Exchange to provide buyers and sellers with access to XLM and various other cryptocurrencies.
DDEX Cryptocurrency Exchange
DDEX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
EOS, XYO, NPXS, HOT, CNN, ZRX, KIN, NCT, BAX, ZCO, NBAI, POLY, POE, TFD, REN, LBA, & 25+ more
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BCH, EOS, TRX, ONT, ETH, BTC, BTM, AE, OCN, ADA, IHT, XRP, ETC, NAS, LTC, & over 117+ more
Orderbook Exchange & ICO Platform
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
TAAS, GNO, ANT, 1ST, HKN, BBT, WRC, AMM, OROC, CHSB, GLBX, BENJA
Orderbook is a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange and ICO platform where users can trade Ethereum-based ICO tokens.
Bitit Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Cashlib
Credit card
Debit card
Neosurf
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, KRW, AUD, CAD, DKK, NOK, SEK, TRY, HKD, SGD
BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, LTC, BCH, ETC, OMG, ZRX, CVC, BNT
Buy cryptocurrency with cash or credit card and get express delivery in as little as 10 minutes.
EtherDelta Cryptocurrency Exchange
EtherDelta Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
VERI, EOS, KIN, PLR, PPP, SXDT, POLY, ASTRO, OMG, EDT, NAS, ZIL, GMT, MAN, REAL, PAY, VEE, MYST, & 30+ more
CoinBene Cryptocurrency Exchange
CoinBene Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
ETH, BTC, EOS, XRP, LTC, GOT, SRCOIN, ABYSS, CONI, ORME, PAL, VME, ZIPT, CTXC, PCH ,CNN, & 53 more

Compare up to 4 providers

What types of transfers can you carry out with bitcoin?

Could bitcoin soon offer a safer and more effective way to transfer money around the world?

The involvement of Commonwealth Bank and Westpac in the R3 project shows that the banks are aware that Bitcoin offers plenty of potential benefits for digital commerce. “The development of the blockchain will certainly have a very interesting and potentially disruptive impact on financial services,” Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said at the time.

There are also hundreds of other open-source blockchain experiments underway around the world, as financial institutions search for ways to streamline and simplify payments infrastructure. With lower fees on overseas transfers, fast processing of transactions and the ability to cut out the middle man, Bitcoin represents an exciting opportunity for international money transfers.

However, any transition to Bitcoin payments among banks and other established financial institutions is likely to be a slow one. Not only is much of the technology still in development, but regulators around the world are still catching up with the many implications of digital currencies. As research such as the R3 project continues around the world, finding a way to transform the international money transfer market is going to take some time – but the interest shown by large global banks indicates the possibilities.

In the meantime, the way we send money overseas will remain the same. While there is the option of sending a telegraphic transfer via your bank, specialist online money transfer companies still offer a cost-effective solution. It offers better exchange rates and charge minimal transaction fees compared to the banks, so it’s definitely worth considering when you need to send money abroad.
Predicting bitcoin’s future value and exchange rates

Rates last updated June 19th, 2019
Details Features
Trezor Bitcoin Wallet
Trezor Bitcoin Wallet
Trezor hardware wallet is a secure way to keep your cryptocurrency safe from hackers and malware.
  • Features: OLED display, cross-platform support
  • Multi-currency support: BTC, DASH, LTC & more
  • Security: PIN, 2-factor authentication
Go to site More info
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
Logo for XE Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer

Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees.

Logo for WorldRemit International Money Transfers
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

Logo for TransferWise
TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Logo for CurrencyTransfer
CurrencyTransfer

Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KingMykeSeptember 21, 2018

    Please how can I make a swift bank deposit or wire transfer to someone’s bitcoin wallet ?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloSeptember 21, 2018

      Hi there,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      You cannot transfer dollars from a bank account directly into a bitcoin wallet.

      You’ll need to sign up with a bitcoin exchange service, there are many in existence. Once you have an account with one of them, you can transfer dollars to the exchange’s bank account, and then your user account will be credited. Next you will be able to purchase bitcoins at the current market rate through the exchange.

      After that, you can withdraw your bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet you control.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    KunleSeptember 17, 2018

    I have a crpto currency company ,where i do buy and sell of bitcoin ,i want to partner with companies that can be selling btcoin to me on discount

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Kunle,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      We currently don’t have a list of crypto companies that might be interested in doing business with you. However, you might want to start your search from looking at our list of exchanges. Please click here.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    gloryOctober 4, 2017

    I want to transfer money from south Africa to US using bitcoin so I want to know the starting point ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithOctober 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Glory,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      You may send bitcoin worldwide through a wallet-to-wallet transfer. The recipient of the sent bitcoins would also need to have an active bitcoin wallet to be able to receive the sent bitcoin.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Judith

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
Logo for XE Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer

Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees.

Logo for WorldRemit International Money Transfers
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

Logo for TransferWise
TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Logo for CurrencyTransfer
CurrencyTransfer

Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.

Go to site