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Cryptocurrency: The Fastest and Cheapest Way to Send Money to Latin America

Updated: Aug 26, 2018

Sending money from the United States to Latin America is a big industry. According to NPR, more than $69 billion was sent to Latin America from the United States in 2016 via remittances. These remittances are generally sent from people working in the US back to their families in Latin America. However, if you're a entrepreneur that splits his time in the US and Latin America, you may also have a need to send money across the border. Traditionally, people have used services like MoneyGram, Western Union, or just a regular bank wire. However, these services often carry a hefty fee and may take up to a few days for the transfer to complete. See the below table for a breakdown:

MoneyGram and Western Union Fees
Fees and delivery times may vary based on destination within Latin America and banking institution used.

MoneyGram can be fast, but expensive if transferring large amounts and the other services may be cheaper for large amounts, but they are slow.

Cryptocurrency: The Best Way to Send Money to Latin Americas

Cryptocurrency provides another option to send money internationally. Many in Venezuela have already realized this as their government has banned some of the traditional services discussed above. Relatives in the US have been sending Bitcoin back to their families in Venezuela to assist them during the current crisis where the Venezuelan Bolivar loses more of its value each day. Even if you don't need to send money to Venezuela, cryptocurrency still provides an advantage by being faster and cheaper than the more traditional services. A Bitcoin transaction may cost anywhere from a few cents to several dollars depending on the network traffic and on average complete in about 30 minutes. However, there are some newer currencies that are even cheaper and faster.

Nano and IOTA: Cryptocurrencies with the Fastest and Cheapest Transactions

Nano and IOTA are two relatively new cryptocurrencies that use a different technology than their predecessors such as Bitcoin which allows for virtually free and instant transactions. These two currencies will be game changers for sending money in general, but particularly for international transactions where their competitors are slow and expensive. See the breakdown below:

Bitcoin versus Nano and IOTA
Bitcoin fees and delivery times may vary based on network traffic

Where to Buy Bitcoin, Nano, and IOTA

The advantage Bitcoin currently has over Nano and IOTA is that it is much simpler to buy and get started. Just make an account on the super user friendly Coinbase, link a bank account or credit card and you're good to go. If you don't have a Coinbase account, click the banner below and you will receive an additional $10 of Bitcoin when you buy $100. You can then have your recipient do the same to generate a Bitcoin address or they can use the wallet of their choice. If you are just sending the money to yourself you can skip this step. To access the coins in a different country, all you need to do is login.

Nano and IOTA require a few additional steps. If you're new to cryptocurrency, it's recommended you stick with Bitcoin and Coinbase until you're more comfortable. In order to buy Nano and IOTA, you'll need to follow the steps above to buy Bitcoin and then you'll need to send that Bitcoin to a cryptocurrency exchange. LATAM Capitalist recommends Binance to trade for Nano or IOTA (click here to sign up).

Keeping Your Cryptocurrencies Secure

Keeping your cyptocurrencies secure is your responsibility. There is no bank to complain to if you lose your coins. Therefore, it is critical to keep your keys safe (keys are essentially the password to access your coins). The best way to keep your keys secure? A hardware wallet. A hardware wallet stores the "keys" to your coins on a device that can connect and communicate with your computer to send the coins, but the keys are never communicated with the computer. Thus, hackers cannot steal your keys. LATAM Capitalist recommends the Ledger Nano S because it is secure, easy to use, and supports the most coins. The Ledger Nano S supports bitcoin and dozens of other coins. Nano and IOTA support are currently in development and should be available before the end of the year. Click the banner below to order yours now!

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