Binance, a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced on March 6, 2019, that Binance Labs, the venture arm of the exchange, is building the cryptocurrency future of Argentina wtith the support of the government.
At the Forefront of Blockchain Adoption
Per the blog post, Argentina has the opportunity to be at the forefront of blockchain adoption given that the country is now accepting bitcoin for its public transport system and also has a large number of Bitcoin ATMs.
Startups, established companies, and even the government are playing their part in ensuring that the country with the third largest economy in Latin America is a part of the innovative technology.
The level of support can be seen in the country’s most recent implementation which allows seven million people resident in 37 locations to pay for rides using bitcoin. By just funding the state public transport’s card, SUBE with bitcoin, bus, train and subway fares can be paid for.
In the same vein, 260 merchants in Argentina are accepting cryptocurrency for payments which is on par with 8,000 convenience stores in the country where bitcoin could be purchased as of 2014.
There has also been an increase in the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the area which currently ranks it second after Columbia (40 ATMS) for the eight machines that have been installed and thousands more are expected this year from the Odyssey group.
In May 2018, Banco Masventas (BMV), a bank in the region discontinued the use of SWIFT, a global network for cross border payments and opted for bitcoin for international payments’ clients.
Argentina Using Bitcoin to Overcome Economic Crisis
Binance has, however, attributed these positive developments to the 31.2 percent inflation rate in the country and the falling rates of the peso, Argentina’s national currency which has reportedly devalued by half. There are also issues such as high foreign-currency debt, currency runs, and capital flight, and these situations are expected to worsen due to the upcoming presidential elections in the country this year.
That being the case, citizens have also opted for bitcoin and other cryptoassets to maintain the value of their wealth. The cryptocurrency exchange also outlined that its part in these developments is to support a relatively large community of Binancians from Argentina.
Notably, Binance says Buenos Aires is now the regional hub for the 2019 Binance Labs Incubation Program whose second season has been slated for March 2019.
Binance Labs Partners with Argentina’s Government
For its most outstanding support, Binance Labs has collaborated with Argentina’s Ministry of Production and Labor who will offer a grant of $50,000 through the Ministry’s Accelerator Program for every project the venture invests in.
Reportedly, the level of support from the Argentine government will cover three to ten Argentine blockchain-related projects that are launched each year by Binance Labs, and the collaboration will last for four years.
The cryptocurrency exchange through a number of its arms such as the Binance Labs, Binance Charity Foundation (BCF), and even the Binance LaunchPad has lined up a number of activities to foster the growth of the crypto and DLT industry.
On February 27, 2019, BTCManager that the BCF has launched a “Lunch for Children Program” in Ugandan schools.