South America is slowly becoming a major cryptocurrency hub. More and more nations on the continent are coming around to Bitcoin’s power and potential – just look at Venezuela for example. The latest country to open the door to Bitcoin is Argentina, with it recently being announced that leading bank BMV Banco Masventas will allow cross-border Bitcoin payments.
Say buenos dias to Bitcoin
Making history, BMV Banco Masventas will be the first bank in the world that allows for Bitcoin-backed cross-border payments. This has come about through a new business relationship with Bitex, a leading Latin American blockchain-based financial services company. Launched in 2014, Bitex has been made serious headway since its debut as a low-key startup. Now, Argentina’s Banco Masventas sees Bitcoin and Bitex as an alternative to Swift when it comes to cross-border transactions.
Keeping costs down
BMV Banco Masventas revealed in an official statement that costing was a key reason for the switch from Swift to Bitex. It reads, “The service allows you to reduce costs associated with international transfers as there are no international banks as intermediaries. The logistics solution allows for a reduction in the time it takes to send or receive transfers up to a maximum of 24 hours. Bitex has a wide network of partners that enables international transfers to more than 50 countries.”
Looking towards the future
A common criticism of BMV Banco Masventas, along with other Argentinian banks, is a lack of forward thinking when it comes to digital services. Jose Humberto Dakak – a BMV Banco Masventas principal shareholder – believes that this new approach will solidify the bank’s digital and smartphone-based platforms. He also believes that it will also be a cost-effective move for clients, “One of the actions was to contract Bitex as a strategic partner in the implementation of the Bitex platform for payments and collections operations for our clients abroad.”
Once implemented, BMV Banco Masventas clients will be able to send money to 50 different countries, with transfer times cut down to under 24 hours. Considering the dropped transfers and security issues linked to Swift, the adoption of Bitex could very well represent a new chapter in Argentinian banking. The move will also separate BMV Banco Masventas from competing banks as well.
Bitex brings Bitcoin into the mainstream
For Bitex, the new partnership with Banco Masventas represents another step into the mainstream. Manuel Beaudroit (Bitex Chief Marketing Officer) believes that Bitex will bring banking closer to the people, “The customers will ask the bank to do an international payment, and the bank uses Bitex as a provider. For the customer, it’s transparent, they don’t touch, they don’t see the bitcoin. We are a provider for them, and they are not touching Bitcoin.”
Taking inspiration from the Far East
There is arguably a huge amount riding on this partnership, as should it succeed it will represent a major milestone in crypto adoption. The launch of Bitex-based payments coincidentally has arrived around the same time that Argentinian officials announced plans to install 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country. Taking inspiration from Japan, the introduction of ATMs has been a huge success in the Far East, so it will be interesting to see if a similar influx of ATMs in Argentina could have a similar effect.
Argentina is breaking new ground!
Argentina might not be known as one of the world’s leading crypto nations, but times are changing. Should this new partnership and the introduction of Bitcoin ATMs in the country be successful, cryptocurrency could easily begin to establish further roots within South America. While there are plenty of answered questions at this point, for Argentina Bitcoin could be the next major financial product.