Bull Bitcoin Exchange Expands to Costa Rica from Canada

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Bull Bitcoin, a Canadian Bitcoin exchange, announced a business venture into Costa Rica this week. The company was the first to offer a Bitcoin on-and-off-ramp through SINPE Movil, the country’s leading payment provider.

Users will be able to buy and sell BTC with the country’s national currency (colón) through the initiative’s digital wallet, thanks to a Bitcoin circular economy project called the Bitcoin Jungle. Costa Ricans and tourists can download the Bitcoin Jungle wallet, register a username, and pick the SINPE Movil option to convert colónes to BTC or vice versa.

The Costa Rican Central Bank manages and operates SINPE Movil, the Spanish acronym for National System for Electronic Payments, which operates on a similar model to Kenya’s M-Pesa. Users can instantly send and receive money using mobile phone numbers.

According to local media sites, the service is used by more than 60% of the country, with the system transacting the equivalent of 17% of the country’s GDP at one point. The service does not have a specific app, but rather functions as an interbank settlement service, similar to Zelle in the United States or Interac in Canada.

“SINPE Movil integration is a game changer,” said Francis Pouliot, Bull Bitcoin’s founder and CEO, “because everyone in Costa Rica uses it.”

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