Colombia: Gemini and Bancolombia (Colombia’s largest bank) will start offering crypto services next week

Colombia: Gemini and Bancolombia (Colombia’s largest bank) will start offering crypto services next week
Bancolombia and Gemini have partnered to offer crypto services in Colombia. The project will launch next week.

Colombian residents will soon have a new option to buy their favourite cryptocurrencies using their bank accounts, just as easily as they buy any other product.

US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has announced that it has finally completed all the necessary steps to move into the implementation phase of a project that will allow Colombians to buy cryptocurrencies with funds held in their Bancolombia accounts.

This partnership is extremely important for the development of the local crypto industry, as Bancolombia is the largest bank in the country, with total assets of $275.76 billion in 2020 and over 16 million clients in the same year.

While the move could serve as a seamless ramp for millions of Colombians to enter the world of cryptocurrencies, the service will be limited to a certain number of users for now. Neither Gemini nor Bancolombia have specified how many people will qualify for the service.

The project will run for one year, starting on 14 December 2021. During this time, all eligible users will be able to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) from Gemini using their Bancolombia accounts.

This means that Gemini would handle the processes related to cryptocurrencies, while Bancolombia would handle all matters related to the movement of any amount of Colombian pesos – the country’s official currency.

The project is part of the Sandbox, which the country is currently implementing as a way to boost innovation in financial services. That is why it is so heavily restricted and slowed down.

Government regulators grant some benefits to startups that want to test the feasibility of their proposals, but are unable to implement them due to heavy bureaucratic procedures and possible legal obstacles.

Cynthia Del Pozo, Gemini’s director of strategy and development, shared her excitement in an official blog post, noting that the cryptocurrency industry can help many Latin American economies expand.

Sandbox Colombia is being promoted by the country’s financial regulator in collaboration with other regulators.

Nine projects have been approved for implementation. However, only two are in the operational phase: Gemini of Bancolombia and the Bitpoint exchange and payments start-up MOVii. Other projects include players such as Binance and Latin exchanges Bitso and Buda.com.

Now Brazil and Spain have also developed policies similar to Colombia’s. Brazil’s regulatory sandbox promotes fast and efficient payment systems, while Spain is trying to strengthen its security and compliance mechanisms.

However, Spain is also working to step up its crypto game.  The country’s Central Bank is prioritising the design and implementation of CBDCs in its latest development plan for 2020-2024. Slightly slower than its Brazilian counterpart, which plans to launch its own CBDC next year.

9/12/2021 – Mr.Advice NEWS


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