Since 2019, the temperature in Argentina’s crypto ecosystem has been continuously rising, indicating a clear roadmap for mass adoption of bitcoin and other alternate assets.
Argentina’s financial meltdown — marked by rising inflation, a falling currency, and a scarcity of available US dollars for investment — has actually benefited one sector: cryptocurrencies.
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Galicia has a total client base of more than 4 million retail and business customers. (Image credit: Bloomberg.com)
Bitcoin & Other New Investment Features
Banco Galicia, Argentina’s largest private bank, stated Tuesday that it will allow customers to invest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through a range of “new investment opportunities.”
“Banco Galicia introduces a new and creative service for its customers, allowing them to purchase, sell, and store cryptocurrencies in a simple, secure, and one-stop shop,” the bank said.
Customers posted screenshots of their purchasing options Tuesday, and Banco Galicia verified the services’ activation in an emailed statement.
Banco Galicia & Lirium Team Up
According to several sources, Banco Galicia’s service is handled in collaboration with Lirium, a Liechtenstein-based crypto product for digital wallets and mobile banking apps.
Banco Galicia allows users to purchase and trade cryptocurrency but not to withdraw or send it, Lirium COO Martin Kopacz explained, adding that the lender also provides a custody service.
The bank has a total client base of over 4 million retail and business customers. It operates over 600 branch offices worldwide. Kopacz said the company intends to roll out the new crypto service to all of its customers by the middle of this month.
Galicia is a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Galicia, which is publicly traded in Buenos Aires and on the Nasdaq under the ticker “GGAL.”
BTC total market cap at $730.71 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Argentina’s Growing Crypto Adoption
Argentina, according to data provided by Deel, has more employees who are paid in cryptocurrency than any other country in the world.
The number of organizations that allow their employees to receive payments in digital assets has increased by more than 340 percent in less than a year, with small businesses driving the growth.
Over the last two years, the South American country has proven increasingly receptive to bitcoin use.
In August 2021, when asked if he would follow El Salvador in legalizing bitcoin, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez answered, “I don’t want to go too far out on a limb… but there is no reason to say no.”
Featured image from iGaming.org, chart from TradingView.com