Argentina’s largest and second largest private banks, Banco Galicia and Brubank, have announced that they will allow customers to make cryptocurrency purchases.
Bloomberg reported on May 2 that a resounding 60% of Argentinian survey respondents called for more access to crypto, which catalyzed decisions by banks to start allowing crypto trading.
Affiliate with market research firm Americas Market Intelligence, Ignacio Carballo tweeted on May 3 with screenshots of Banco Galicia’s online interface that he had started supporting Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC) and Ripple (XRP) purchases.
The South American nation has the sixth highest crypto adoption rate in the world. Data and survey firm Statista estimates that 21% of Argentines had used or owned crypto by 2021.
Allowing customers to buy Bitcoin and other crypto through their bank could help Argentinians stay ahead of the crushing inflation in the country. The latest data from economic data tracker Trading Economics indicates that Argentina’s inflation rate in April was 55%. Proponents say Bitcoin’s scarcity and decentralization make it the ideal hedge against inflation.
Last month, the town of Sorradino in Argentina purchased mining rigs and planned to start a mining operation to earn Bitcoin to fight inflation. His mining income was estimated at several hundred US dollars per month.
Given its high adoption rate, the mayor of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, announced late last month that the city would begin accepting crypto as payment for public financial services. The city also plans to launch a blockchain-based digital identification (DID) platform for its residents.
However, Argentina is not the biggest country in South America to make leaps and bounds with cryptocurrency adoption. The Brazilian Senate finally approved the “Bitcoin Law” bill on April 26, which could help add a much-needed regulatory framework for the local cryptocurrency industry. It only remains to pass a commission to be promulgated by President Jair Bolsinaro.