Send Money to the Philippines For Free

Ethan Rose
April 6, 2024

Well, almost free. You see, even if a money transfer service claims to be "free", they usually mean "free of transparent fees". These services secretly take your money by giving a terrible exchange rate. For example, if you send $500 from the US to the Philippines, most big remittance companies will take over $15 from you, just by giving you a worse exchange rate.

Services will try to trick you further by adding a "transparent fee" of $1.99 on top, to make you think that's all you're paying.

But new payment technology is here. It's called the Lightning Network, and it allows a new generation of financial startups to settle across borders instantly in bitcoin. There are financial companies springing up to support the Lightning Network all around the world. was one of the first, in the US. Cash App is an eWallet giant in the US, now supporting lightning payments.

In the Philippines, you have, the eWallet app which allows you to send and receive global payments over bitcoin's lightning network. You can use Pesos directly to avoid exchange rate volatility.

While Lightning Network adoption is still emerging, it has proven to be an incredible payment network, which due to its open-source nature will drive the costs and exchange rate spreads of remittances down to be effectively free. has a business to sustain, so the app adds a small exchange rate spread, under 1%, but the spread is constantly coming down towards 0%.

Let's imagine now a future where there are no pesos and dollars. There is no middleman required to keep inventories of various government-issued currencies. Therefore, there is no need for an exchange rate spread. That's where we'd like to head in the coming decade. In the age of the internet, nobody should have to pay exorbitant costs just to send money to another country.

I'll be checking back in 20 years, I expect it will be far more common for people in around the world to be using bitcoin as their main money instead of their faith in a government's cloth-y papers.

Only then, sending money to the Philippines will be truly free.

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