According to multiple reports, Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has purchased Philippines-based cryptocurrency payment platform Coins.ph for more than $70 million. It’s a significant move into a Southeast Asian country with over 100 million people. It could also signal more exposure for cryptos such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to a population primed for low fee digital money.
Go-Jek buys fintech startup Coins.ph for $72M ahead of Philippines expansion
Nadiem Makarim, Go-Jek CEO, explained, “With the second largest population and a strong domestic economy, the Philippines is one of the most exciting markets in Southeast Asia and through this partnership with Coins.ph, we are humbled to take part in the country’s digital payments transformation. Today’s announcement marks the start of our long-term commitment to the Philippines and a continuation of our mission to use technology to improve everyday lives and create a positive social impact.”
Go-Jek is a giant in Southeast Asia, a multi-billion dollar company. It has lately been expanding from Indonesia and into Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. This current acquisition is its toe-dip into the growing market of the Philippines.
It’s best known for being a ride-hailing platform, and has exploded in recent years by rolling out payment services such as GoPay for micro-loans, insurance, and money transfers. Other companies, like Grab, have proven such markets appear only to desire more and more services of that variety.
Started with Crypto
Even after fits and starts, Go-Jek didn’t give up on the Philippines. In fact, it’s just plowed over $70 million into cryptocurrency wallet Coins.ph, TechCrunch reported (citing unnamed sources). Coins.ph is said to have millions of users in the archipelago already, and it has become something of a jack of all trades payment platform as well: crypto onboarding, phone plans, bill payments, mobile wallet, and even transportation.
The mobile wallet gained prominence by being among the earliest to offer crypto access back in 2014. It now has a small basket of coins, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), from the top four by market capitalization. Cryptos like BCH will be available to potentially millions of new users. Growing familiarity with Bitcoin Cash’s relatively inexpensive transaction fees, low latency, and comparative network effect might be a good match for Filipinos.
Coins.ph has broadened to provide ever-popular mobile payments, and with GoPay integration, it could see still more services. With over 100 million people, many already smartphone tech savvy, teaming with GoPay might also mean access to loans and insurance for a relatively huge population.
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