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Argentina Allows the Use of Bitcoin For Cross-border Payments

Banco Masventas, a small bank in Argentina, has partnered with a regional exchange startup Bitex, allowing its customers to send cross-border payments using Bitcoin as an alternative to Swift.

“Once payments begin being sent, BMV (Banco Masventas) will likely become the world’s first banking institution to actively leverage bitcoin as an international payments standard,” says Bitcoinist, a web portal specializing in cryptocurrency.

The bank says its clients can now transfer money from account to account in less time than traditional bank transfers. Initially, the service will only be available to people in the province of Salta.

Argentina hinted about opening its doors to cryptocurrency last year when Lucas Llach, Vice President of the Central Bank of Argentina, reportedly said that the regulator is “not afraid of Bitcoin and likes some of its uses.”

The startup Bitex, a Bitcoin and Litecoin exchange, is not limited to Argentina. It has operations in several countries across the region, and says its objective is to provide a solution for the unbanked population.

Bitex hired Deloitte to serve as an impartial third party to review and report on the exchange’s operations and procedures, as well as the balances and funds of users.

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Across Latin America, several countries have begun using the cryptocurrency, saying their goal is to reduce banking services costs and enhance their digital, smartphone-based services.

Meanwhile Chilean crypto exchange has launched in Argentina, offering to support four cryptocurrencies. The exchange has operations in Colombia and Peru as well.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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