Founded in 1905, Buenos Aires-based bank Banco Galicia enables its customers to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP and USD Coin (USDC). To make this possible, it has partnered with Lirium AG, a company that offers plug-and-play crypto solutions for banking institutions, to enable the new service.
Argentina is one of the leading countries in terms of cryptocurrency adoption due to high inflation. According to Deel, it has more employees who are paid in digital assets than any other country in the world. The number of companies that allow their employees to receive payments in crypto has increased by more than 340% in just one year, with small businesses being the main reason for the growing adoption.
Banco Galicia, as already mentioned, is the largest private bank in the country. She serves more than four million private and corporate clients. It also has about 600 branches around the world.
The bank allows its users to buy and sell crypto, but not to withdraw or transfer crypto, Lirium COO Martin Kopacz told CoinDesk. He added that the bank also offers a custodial function. It is also clear that Banco Galicia plans to introduce the service to all its customers in mid-May, Kopacz noted.
Lirium is also working with four other Argentine financial institutions that are planning to launch a crypto trading service, Kopacz said, without revealing exact information. In addition, Lirium is working on similar integrations in Brazil and Mexico, according to Kopacz.
Not the only Argentine bank
The decision of Banco Galicia follows a customer survey, which showed that 60 percent of respondents expressed a desire for the possibility of buying crypto on the banking platform.
“That motivated us to accelerate this project. It is above all the young people who demand these functions“, said Ariel Sanchez, manager of investment products of the bank. In addition to Banco Galicia, Digitalbank Brubank SAU has also launched this service. Slowly but surely, the traditional financial sector is taking over Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto industry.
Banco Galicia is not ready yet
A curious user wrote to Banco Galicia on Twitter to ask if the service was already available. Banco Galicia confirmed this through the official account and indicated that more investment options will be added.
However, users of Banco Galicia are not yet able to withdraw Bitcoin, Ether or other cryptos from the platform. Sending Bitcoin to your own wallet or paying other users is therefore not yet an option. For the time being, Banco Galicia is all about Bitcoin as a means of saving.
Argentina is among the top 10 countries with the highest adoption rate
According to the figures of Chainalysis, Argentina is among the top 10 countries with the highest acceptance rate of cryptocurrencies. This is not surprising, since Argentina has been plagued by high inflation for years. The country is lurching from currency crisis to currency crisis and has even experienced inflation of over 50 percent. Two-thirds of Argentines who invest in crypto say that they want to protect their savings from inflation.
Since the traditional banks are also jumping on the crypto bandwagon, there is a good chance that the adoption rate in Argentina will increase even further. With both banks, it is now possible to buy crypto on the same platform, where users can purchase stocks and bonds. Banco Galicia will initially provide this service only to users who receive their salary through a direct deposit with the bank.
Latin American Bitcoin Revolution
Lirium is the infrastructure provider that, among other things, helps Banco Galicia to set up their crypto services. According to COO Martin Kopacz, his company works with similar players in countries such as Brazil and Mexico. In addition, it is cooperating with four Argentine banks to bring crypto to their customers. So Bitcoin is doing well in Latin America.
In this regard, Bitcoin is moving fast. Buying Bitcoin is becoming easier and easier and the rising inflation worldwide ensures a smooth spread of the Bitcoin story. It may seem that the Bitcoin exchange rate is not going well at the moment, but you have to keep in mind that in March 2020 we had made a dive to about 3,000 euros. From this point of view, we have made significant progress in two years.