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Accelerating global money movement: BVNK product showcase 2024

Our product team reflected on the market, how customers are using our payments platform today and the innovation still to come, during this year’s Currency LDN event.

By
Bernie Niebsch and Vizma Bramane
Jun 12, 2024
4
min read

It has been 12 months since we spoke about our products at Currency LDN. A lot has changed in that time: the ‘crypto winter 2.0’ is defrosting and we’re seeing a renewed interest in digital asset payments. 

At BVNK, we've doubled our customer numbers and our annually-processed payments volumes. We've obtained new regulatory licences and expanded our network of banking and liquidity partners. 

But one thing has stayed the same: we’re still headstrong on accelerating the global movement of money, by bridging banks and blockchains. And at the heart of that mission are stablecoins.

Stablecoins are becoming a core payment rail

From consumer payments to B2B settlements, remittances, cross-border payments and more: at BVNK, we see businesses using stablecoins every single day. From the 6 billion we process annually, around 90 percent involves a stablecoin – as the starting or settling currency, or both.  

In the last year, the market capitalisation of stablecoins has grown to over $150bn. We've seen the number of  stablecoin holders globally reach an all time high, as well as the emergence of new use cases and new players in the space – from Ripple to Stripe, to PayPal and Visa.

We’ve also seen new regulatory frameworks for stablecoins emerge around the globe, offering some clarity and comfort to actors in the space.

So, let’s dig into it – how and why are BVNK customers using stablecoins today?

Crypto checkout experiences are getting better

In April, payments giant Stripe announced it is reintroducing stablecoins into its checkout flows. It’s clear that Stripe sees stablecoins as an important payment rail – and we agree. Crypto checkout – enabling businesses to accept stablecoins and crypto payments – is our second oldest product and the fastest growing.

This growth has been enabled by rapidly evolving technology. In the last few years, processing and settlement times on the blockchain have come down significantly, and are now under a second in many cases. New blockchains have emerged like Solana and Tron which are faster than older networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Change happens quickly when every day there are tens of thousands of software engineers working on these technologies. 

Our team meanwhile has been optimising our crypto checkout flows to make the experience of our customers – and their customers – better (you can see it in action below).

Stablecoin payroll is gaining traction

Now to a newer product: stablecoin payouts.

During Covid, remote employment skyrocketed. Many companies – BVNK included – hire talent globally, in places where they don’t have offices. They work with HR and ‘Employer of Record’ (EOR) platforms to figure out local employment law and contract employees. But they have a problem: to pay these employees, they have to integrate dozens of PSPs and financial institutions.

If I'm a contractor for one of these platforms, I might see a balance in my account and want to take it out, but funds can take up to a week to arrive. Or perhaps, because of unfavourable exchange rates, I actually receive less than I expected.

We’ve built a new product in collaboration with a major HR platform to address this problem. It enables near-instant payments for a global workforce using stablecoins. In the first month with this one customer, 7,500 of their contractors have opted to be paid in stablecoins, with $11 million paid out.

We believe that global payroll is a key use case for stablecoins, and that demand will increase. By 2030, there will be 90 million global digital jobs. If you look at the creator and gig economies, with their large global workforces, the number is much bigger. By 2030, many of these jobs will also be located in lower income countries, where payments infrastructure is not as developed. For these populations, stablecoins can act as a global digital dollar, helping them to get paid faster and avoid local currency volatility.  

“We’re still headstrong on accelerating the global movement of money, by bridging banks and blockchains. And at the heart of that mission are stablecoins.”
Vizma Bramane
Senior Product Marketing manager, BVNK

Fintechs are adding stablecoin wallets

The final example we want to share is embedded stablecoin wallets. This started with our longtime banking partner, Freemarket. They came to us with a question: could we help them build stablecoin wallets that would integrate seamlessly into their own platform?

Their customers were asking to pay with stablecoins. It had reached a tipping point: business was at risk if they didn’t provide that functionality.  

We partnered with Freemarket to offer their business clients the ability to store, send and receive stablecoins alongside fiat payment services. By teaming up with BVNK and using our stablecoin infrastructure, Freemarket didn’t need to get additional regulatory registrations or build from scratch. BVNK provides crypto services via Freemarket’s platform, allowing them to go to market faster and meet customer demand. We’re looking forward to seeing this product live very soon.

What’s coming up on BVNK?

BVNK's Product Director, Bernhard Niebsch

Let’s take a sneak peek into the future at some of the things we’re building here at BVNK. 

First: the BVNK Network. One question we always get asked is: do you have US dollars? Can I get paid in US dollars?

US dollars are the world’s reserve currency and there is demand to hold it and use it for payments. We want to enable BVNK Network members to settle USD transactions instantly, 24/7/365, with other network participants. Watch out for more news about the BVNK Network in the coming months. 

Lastly, we want to tell you about Layer1 – core infrastructure for stablecoins.

Over the last five years, we‘ve invested a lot of time and resources in building our own infrastructure to connect to multiple blockchains, banks and liquidity providers. We’ve used around 70% of our precious engineering time to figure out many annoying, painful details. Now, we want to take that 70% away from you, so you can spend more time building differentiated products. 

Layer1 is self-custody infrastructure for stablecoins – and it means that other financial services businesses and enterprises who want multi-rail payments, don’t have to go through the same pain that we did. More on that too, in the coming months.

The future is multi-rail multi-asset 

We’re excited to see these new use cases and products take shape, and to build a future for payments which is multi-rail and multi-asset. A future where businesses can move freely between fiat, crypto and stablecoins and transfer value around the world at internet speed.

This talk was delivered at Currency LDN 2024. Watch the full session on demand.

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