A Ukrainian shipping company has become the first to accept payment in bitcoin. Its motivation for taking the digital currency? To evade economic sanctions. Shipping companies are obliged not to trade with sanction-hit countries such as Sudan, Yemen, and Qatar. Bitcoin provides a means of ensuring payment whilst enabling shippers to continue trading with these nations.
Shipped on the Blockchain
Bitcoin’s real-world use cases are often regarded from a consumer perspective. Increasingly, however, the digital currency is proving its worth not with P2P but B2B. Odessa-based Varamar Ltd, a Ukrainian shipping operator, has turned to bitcoin as a global payment solution. Unbothered by borders, bitcoin can be sent and received anywhere, regardless of geopolitics.
Varamar’s founder Alexander Varvarenko told Bloomberg:
Paperwork for transactions is a complicated issue with banks, and bitcoin payments will help solve that by being faster. It could also help solve payment problems in countries like Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Yemen, and Qatar, which have safe companies but are victims of sanctions being imposed against their governments.
Grey Areas and Murky Waters
High transaction fees and sporadic blockchain congestion are making bitcoin less suited for personal shopping. These issues are all but eliminated at enterprise level however, where bitcoin is a safer and faster alternative to traditional banking. One of the greatest risks shipping companies face is banks refusing to process payments from countries that have been blacklisted or from rogue states where the regulatory and financial environment is unclear…