Bull Bitcoin expands to Costa Rica via SINPE Movil in partnership with Bitcoin Jungle
Bull Bitcoin is the first and only Bitcoin exchange in Costa Rica that lets users buy and sell Bitcoin using SINPE Movil, the country’s most primary fiat payment system. It is estimated that over 90% of Costa Rican consumers use SINPE, a phone number-based payment network, which means that almost every Costa Rican now has access to a low-cost, secure and instant Bitcoin on-ramp and off-ramp.
For the first time ever, both Ticos (Costa Ricans) and foreigners can convert Colones to Bitcoin and Bitcoin to Colones without needing complicated international bank transfers and expensive foreign currency conversion. Bull Bitcoin also allows conversion to and from bank accounts (IBAN) both in CRC and USD via regular bank transfers.
Bull Bitcoin’s entry in the Costa Rica Bitcoin market officially kicks off our long-awaited international expansion. Over the next 12 months, Bull Bitcoin will become available to over a billion people worldwide. After almost 10 years of being available only in Canada and serving a market of 35 million individuals, we are ready to offer our internationally-acclaimed services to users across the world.
Partnership with Bitcoin Jungle
The Bull Bitcoin service is currently only available to users of the Bitcoin Jungle wallet.
Bitcoin Jungle is an open-source community project which allows Costa Rican businesses, farmers, artisans and professionals to easily accept Bitcoin payments. In practice, it’s a mobile and web Bitcoin wallet app specifically tailored for Costa Rica.
Bitcoin Jungle has steadily been onboarding hundreds of merchants, particularly independent vendors selling products at local farmers’ markets, for the past three years. In some areas of the country, particularly Bahia Ballena (Dominica, Uvita and Ojochal) Bitcoin Jungle has effectively created a circular Bitcoin economy.
The main issue facing Bitcoin Jungle’s mission to onboard businesses is that it was incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible, to “cash-out” their Bitcoin for local currency to pay their bills or their staff. Customers, on the other hand, cannot purchase Bitcoin in order to spend it at their favorite merchant.
Here is where Bull Bitcoin’s integration in the Bitcoin Jungle wallet comes in: making it possible for merchants to quickly and effectively "cash out" their Bitcoin for fiat currency increases their confidence in accepting Bitcoin payments, making them more receptive to Bitcoin.
How to convert between Colones and Bitcoin with SINPE Movil
You must first download the Bitcoin Jungle wallet and register a username. Then, go to settings and select the SINPE Movil option. You will see the buy and sell Bitcoin interface.
To purchase Bitcoin, you must have a SINPE Movil account, which is available to Costa Rican citizens and residents. All you need to do is send money to Bull Bitcoin’s phone number and the Bitcoin will be sent to your Bitcoin Jungle wallet via lightning automatically.
To sell Bitcoin, all you need to do is specify the phone number (or bank account number) you want the funds to be sent to. The Bitcoin will be automatically debited from your Bitcoin Jungle wallet and the fiat transfer will be sent to the recipient.
What use-cases does it enable?
It is notoriously difficult and expensive for tourists and expats to send money to Costa Rica via international wire transfers. Using credit cards will normally incur fees above 5%. Using Bitcoin makes it very easy for them to spend Bitcoin in the local economy by transferring Bitcoin from abroad. They don't even need a local bank account.
Imagine: your car runs out of gas. You are in the middle of the jungle. Your credit cards aren’t working. You don’t have cash. The tow truck and gas station accept payments via SINPE Movil. All you have to do is type the SINPE phone number of the towing company and gas station in your Bitcoin Jungle wallet, and they will receive your payment! If you don’t have funds in your Bitcoin Jungle wallet, you can ask a friend to send you money via Lightning, the payment will be processed and cleared in just a few seconds. Never be stuck in the jungle without money ever again!
Costa Rican businesses can pay suppliers, staff and utility bills using their Bitcoin wallet without needing to fund an exchange account and receive a wire transfer to their bank account first.
Costa Ricans can invest in Bitcoin without needing to send international wire transfers to foreign crypto exchanges.
Pushing Bitcoin adoption in Costa Rica
Bull Bitcoin is dedicated to making Costa Rica an internationally recognized Bitcoin hub, where locals, tourists and expats can live on a Bitcoin standard. With the partnership with Bitcoin Jungle, Bull Bitcoin aims to showcase the benefits of Bitcoin in the context of a developing nation's efforts to attract foreign investment and tourism.
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