In April, Bitcoin Magazine reported that international payment provider Align Commerce launched a public beta of its payments platform, the very first in the market to use the Bitcoin blockchain transparently to enable faster and much cheaper worldwide payments.Transactions look like standard payments at both the sending out and the getting end, but Align Commerce pipes the transfer through the blockchain instead of utilizing several intermediate banking relays, halving both time and cost of conventional international wire transfers.Now Align Commerce announced that it has raised a$12.5 million Series A round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB ), The Wall Street Journal reports. This is the very first financial investment of the prominent venture capital company in a blockchain-based fintech company.Align approximates that small companies presently pay$50 billion in wire and exchange charges.
Forbes notes that, while wire transfers usually incur charges from the initiating bank, middlemans and the recipient’s bank, plus the forex charge, Align charges just a low 1.9 percent foreign-exchange rate.”We were looking for applications of the blockchain for the last number of years in manner ins which could build actual businesses and add real value that weren’t at the grace of the currency valuation which will go up and down and all over the place,” said KPCB basic partner Randy Komisar, who will sign up with Align’s board, in a statement reported by Forbes.” And of those blockchain companies, we purchased Align, because we believe it’s a market that’s underserved, with a CEO who comprehended it well and early traction from customers who strengthened that value.” The Align Commerce platform is targeted at mainstream business-to-business (B2B)payments. The users on both ends do not have to understand that such things as Bitcoin or the blockchain exist; the only thing they need to understand is that the platform processes payments faster and less costly, with a single 1.9 percent fee paid by the party converting the currency.” The Align Commerce platform is not only an innovative and transformative use of the blockchain innovation, however an essential reimagining of how worldwide payments can and need to be done,”said Komisar in an interview estimated by PYMNTS.”We see incredible potential in Align Commerce as a remarkable digital path to hassle-free, transparent cross-border transactions.” If a business found in the United States purchases from a seller situated in the Eurozone, the seller billings in Euros, and the buyer pays in U.S. dollars plus the currency conversion fee. That Align Commerce can minimize
transaction costs by as much as HALF while still making an earnings is an indicator of the radical modification that the blockchain can give the financial industry.Transparency is another important benefit of the Align Commerce platform, which allows real-time tracking of all operations.”The$24 trillion cross-border payments market is growing at a breakneck speed, expected to eclipse$54 trillion by 2022, in spite of an extremely inefficient and pricey system where businesses invest over$50 billion on wire and forex charges, wait as much as 7 days for transactions to complete, and have no exposure into the procedure,”said former Western Union executive Marwan Forzley, now founder and CEO of Align Commerce, in April. “The blockchain provides an all set option,” Forzley said.”The Align Commerce Payments Platform is the first in the market to utilize this global rail to assist little and medium-sized businesses rapidly collect and receive payments in their regional currency while preventing high wire charges and various covert fees.”TechCrunch notes that Align isn’t really the only company planning to enter cross-border payments based on blockchain technology and Bitcoin. Uphold– the re-branded Bitreserve covered by Bitcoin Publication in October– likewise prepares to use the blockchain as a transparent layer for cross-border transactions.The post Align Commerce Raises$ 12.5 Million, Launches Blockchain-based Cross-border B2B Payment System appeared first
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