Sending Money Overseas Using Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has shaken up the world of banking and finance in recent years as a new form of digital money. Now it’s also transforming how money can be sent internationally. Both mobile and online platforms allow you to send and receive crypto across borders.

Since cryptocurrency is digital, transferring it is as easy as sending an email. Cryptocurrency has no physical boundaries like fiat currencies, so you can send it to friends, family, or merchants overseas just as easily as to someone next door.

To send crypto, you just need the recipient’s wallet address – a unique string of letters and numbers indicating where to send the funds, similar to a bank account number. Wallet addresses are usually shown as QR codes that can be scanned with a crypto app.

Let’s explore how cryptocurrency is making transferring money abroad cheaper and easier.

How Cryptocurrency Works

Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that can be used as a medium of exchange instead of traditional fiat money like the US dollar or Euro. They are decentralized, meaning no central authority like a bank or government controls them. You are in charge of your own crypto wallet – there’s no intermediary between you and who you’re paying.

Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are now over 6,000 different cryptos available, and that number keeps growing. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology. The blockchain is a distributed ledger used to record transactions of digital assets like crypto.

Every coin is traceable on the blockchain, so each one has a specified owner. This makes it very difficult to „game the system“, and is why crypto transactions can operate independently of banks and governing bodies.

Transferring Money Overseas With Bitcoin

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer one of the most cost-effective ways to send money internationally. Since bitcoin transactions are decentralized, you don’t have to pay the high fees charged by brokers for a traditional wire transfer.

Bitcoin remittances use crypto exchanges and wallets like Bitcoin Superstar. Anyone who knows how to send bitcoin can make bitcoin remittances.

In addition to saving on transaction fees, cryptos provide other advantages for cross-border money transfers:


Crypto transfers can be made in many different ways, using a wide variety of payment methods and platforms tailored to specific countries.


With a traditional international bank transfer, you have to trust a third party to get your money to its destination. But with a crypto transfer, you can always see exactly where your funds are.


Because cryptos aren’t tied to banks or governments, you can send unlimited amounts of money anytime.


Crypto services are available around the clock, unlike banks. Deals can often be completed in one seamless transaction.


Crypto transactions are not only faster, but much more affordable. There are minimal opportunity costs, hidden fees, or middlemen between you and your money.

Disadvantages of Cryptocurrency for International Transfers

The main downside is that despite faster transfer speeds, there are more steps involved in the process which can be daunting for beginners. Until widespread crypto adoption, this method mostly appeals to those who prioritize speed and low costs.


Keep in mind your currency is exchanged twice when you send bitcoin internationally. Your funds are converted twice: first when you originally buy the bitcoin with fiat currency, and again when the recipient converts to their local currency. You can lose money if you’re not careful in this step.

Comparing Traditional and Crypto Money Transfers

To send money overseas the traditional way, you need to use a money transfer operator (MTO) like Western Union or arrange a direct transfer from your bank account. MTOs and banks often charge fees for international transfers. They also profit off the exchange rate used to convert one currency to another.

When moving money from the sender’s country to the recipient, the sender may incur additional costs like transaction fees, currency exchange losses, and fees based on the transfer speed, which can range from under an hour to over six days.

With cryptocurrency, you can send bitcoin or other digital currencies from one country to another using a peer-to-peer crypto exchange.

If you’re wondering if crypto money transfers are free, on some exchanges and platforms you can transfer bitcoin from wallet to wallet with no fee. Others charge a small fee.

In most cases though, using bitcoin is one of the cheapest ways to send money abroad since you avoid the fees and exchange rates of MTOs and banks.

How to Send Crypto

To send someone crypto, you need their wallet address – usually shown as a QR code you can scan in your app. Once you have the address, just open your crypto wallet, enter the address, and choose the amount to send.

There is often a small fee to send crypto called a „gas fee“, but this is usually far less than fees for wire transfers or Western Union. Some things to keep in mind when sending crypto:

  • Make sure to send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin address, Ethereum to an Ethereum address, etc – each type of crypto has a unique address
  • Once validated and confirmed, the crypto will show up in the recipient’s account – this can take from a few seconds up to several minutes
  • Sending crypto is quick, easy, and inexpensive whether it’s across the room or around the globe

Transferring Crypto From Your Wallet to a Bank Account

To deposit your crypto into a bank account, you first need to convert your holdings to fiat currency on the exchange platform you’re using. Then you can withdraw the funds to your bank account.

You can also „cash out“ crypto in a few ways:

  • Use a crypto debit card – load it with crypto from your wallet to spend just like any other debit card
  • Spend it directly – many businesses now accept crypto like Bitcoin for purchases
  • Use a crypto ATM – found in major cities, some allow you to exchange crypto for cash

Best Cryptocurrencies for International Money Transfers

The top cryptos for overseas transfers are those with high liquidity (easy to convert back to fiat) and low transaction fees. Stablecoins are one of the best for international remittances for these reasons. Fiat-backed stablecoins maintain strong liquidity and tie to fiat currencies so inflation isn’t a concern.

Bitcoin is also seen as viable for global transfers, but fees are based on transaction size, so even small transfers can get expensive.

Litecoin has much lower fees than Bitcoin, so for regular small remittances, it may be the best choice. XRP is another popular option – it’s as fast, safe, and cheap as Bitcoin, while also being highly liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started sending crypto internationally?

First, you’ll need to purchase some cryptocurrency. You can buy from a crypto exchange app or website using your bank account, credit/debit card, or other payment methods. Once you have crypto, you’ll also need a secure digital wallet to store it in. From there, all you need is the recipient’s wallet address to send them crypto.

What are the fees for sending crypto?

Most crypto transfers charge a small transaction fee called a „gas fee“ to process the transaction. This is usually very minimal compared to fees charged by banks and MTOs for international transfers. Some platforms allow free peer-to-peer crypto sending.

Is sending crypto safe?

Yes, cryptocurrency transactions are secured through advanced cryptography. As long as you take precautions like using a strong wallet password and sticking to reputable platforms, sending crypto is generally very safe.

How long does a crypto transfer take?

One of the benefits of cryptocurrency is speed. Most crypto transactions complete within minutes, though some may take up to an hour depending on the currency and network congestion. It’s significantly faster than most cross-border bank transfers.

Can someone refuse a crypto payment I send them?

No, cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed once confirmed on the blockchain. This highlights the need to double check wallet addresses before sending to ensure your transfer goes to the intended recipient.

What are the tax implications of sending crypto internationally?

Like other assets, you may be liable for capital gains tax when transferring crypto. Some accountants recommend keeping detailed records on the value of crypto when you bought and sold it. Consult a tax professional to understand your specific tax obligations.


At first, cryptocurrency may seem neither simpler nor superior since it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. We need to recognize there’s an adjustment period when innovations disrupt our normal way of doing things.

Sending money via middlemen like banks takes time – typical international payments take 2-3 days to settle. So a secure, efficient and affordable international money transfer method is highly desirable. Cryptocurrency enables faster, cheaper transfers to family, friends and business partners around the world.

Crypto transactions are far quicker than official currency transfer channels like SWIFT. And the fees are much lower compared to established remittance systems like Western Union and MoneyGram that have dominated for years, charging higher fees as a result.

Cryptocurrency has advantages in cross-border transfers thanks to its decentralized nature. Though there is a learning curve, digital assets like Bitcoin and stablecoins are transforming how money can be sent internationally. Taking the time to understand this new technology can open up faster, more affordable money transfer options.