Bitpesa, one of the firms aiming to undercut traditional remittance providers by transferring cash internationally via the Bitcoin system, has started a beta between the UK and Kenya, according to The Wall Street Journal.

About fifteen Kenyans living in London are participating in the beta by sending money home to friends and family.

Bitpesa says it can undercut entrenched international providers such as Western Union and Moneygram because it bypasses the conventional financial system by converting cash into Bitcoins.

The cash is then converted into local currency at its destination and users are informed of its arrival on their mobile phones.

“It all comes down to avoiding the fees the international banking system imposes,” Bitpesa’s CEO Elizabeth Rossiello (pictured) told Mobile World Live several months ago.

The currency can do this because “it goes outside the system,” she explained.

Ideally the likes of Bitpesa need an interconnection agreement with local money services, such as Kenya’s M-Pesa. It is unclear if Bitpesa has such an agreement in place.

M-Pesa enables domestic money transfer between individuals in Kenya but does not offer an international remittance service, so creating an opportunity for the likes of Bitpesa.

Other firms are eyeing the same gap in the market, including Kipochi which also wants to use Bitcoin for sending cash internationally.