As reported by Express Tribune last year, Pakistan has the third largest number of freelancers in the world. Sydney-based International Director of freelancer.com, Adam Byrnes was quoted announcing how “Pakistanifreelancers have already earned more than $13 million from the platform.”

Despite being an exciting announcement and figure, according to UrduBit’s Danyal Manzar, it is Pakistani freelancers and overseas Diasporas that are getting hit with the unnecessary costs of that $13 million.

“Debit cards are banned by state bank of Pakistan for online use, and even the apparently attractive alternative of Pre-paid cards comes with an additional and unnecessary cost to set up and use” commented Danyal.

“If this [freelancing] is your full time job, it’s increasingly harder for you to accept payments, without paying a disproportionate and unnecessary fee” he added.

As the rest of the world enjoys the benefits of free online transactions through services like Paypal, which is unavailable in Pakistan, Pakistani freelancers and overseas Diasporas continue to pay the price.

Bitcoin was created on exactly this premise – to decentralize currency, removing the middleman, and empowering every day users. It’s a currency independent of central authority, and intends to charge little to no fees. And it’s finally here for Pakistani’s to use.

According to Danyal, Bitcoin is essentially, “the currency of the internet”, and as Internet use in Pakistan grows from 1.3% in 2000, to almost 11% today, there is an even more compelling reason to stay informed.

With Paypal unavailable in the country, and wired services like Western Union charging hundreds to thousands of PKR per transaction, UrduBit provides ways for Pakistani’s to earn money around the world, and use it to withdraw PKR (with no fees!), shop online, and even pay bills with the click of the button.

So how exactly can Pakistani’s use services like UrduBit? By setting up an account with UrduBit, you can start receiving online payments in Bitcoin. These payments can be directly converted into Pakistani rupees using the UrduBit service, at no cost. Alternatively, you can also use your Bitcoin to make online bill payments in Pakistan, from anywhere in the world using the PayBill.io service.

Mobile top op services, e-commerce stores, and local retailers in Pakistan are all are warming up to the concept. It costs nothing for companies to start accepting Bitcoin transactions, and services can be automated to convert all Bitcoin received directly in PKR.

As Adam Byrnes, International Director of freelancer commented “I am excited about the launch of freelancer.pk because of the potential Pakistan represents for the platform.” He added,“This [Pakistan] is a high value market for employers abroad.”

While Pakistan expands to a high value market for employers abroad, it’s important for Pakistani’s at home to not be hit with the costs. Services like UrduBit can help close this gap.

Just last year alone, Pakistan received over $17 billion in remittances. The majority of this money was remitted by the Pakistani diaspora of almost 8 million students and blue-collar workers abroad. According to Danyal, some of the most common reasons for these transactions are to simply pay the bills back home. But it’s all coming at a cost that is too high for the large proportion of low-middle income earners overseas.

With only 16% of Pakistanis using bank accounts and a large percentage of those never using branch banking, it is evident that traditional financial infrastructures have not worked in Pakistan. And while services such as U-paisa and Easy Paisa have attempted to make unbanked payments accessible, they don’t provide the same financial incentive for users that rely on the Internet and overseas interactions for their full-time income.

“When it comes to financially connecting Pakistan to the rest of the world, that’s were Pakistani’s can benefit the most...by using digital currencies like Bitcoin” commented Danyal.

As the rest of the world enjoys free online transfers through services like Paypal, it’s time for Pakistani’s to stop paying transaction fees on the millions of USD they earn through freelancing alone. For now, Bitcoin provides that very solution.

Pakistanis can visit Urdubit.com to find out more about the services available.