Argentina’s largest private bank Banco Galicia with a market cap of nearly $1.3 billion, has finally added the option to trade cryptocurrencies on its platform. As per a Monday announcement, the financial firm will allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin [BTC], Ether [ETH], USDC, and XRP.
Banco Galicia has collaborated with Lirium, a Liechtenstein-based crypto product for digital wallets and mobile banking apps.
Sources also revealed that for the time being it is offering users the ability to buy and sell crypto, but not allowing them to withdraw or send crypto, Lirium COO Martin Kopacz said, adding that the bank also offers a custody feature.
Banco Galicia plans to launch the service to all of its customers by mid-May, Kopacz noted.
Stakeholders lending support to Argentina’s biggest crypto development
In order to facilitate crypto trading and custody service, Lirium has partnered with OSL, a Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform that began operating in Latin America last October.
Lirium is also working with four Argentinian financial institutions that plan to unveil a crypto trading service, Kopacz said, without disclosing dates. Apart from that, Lirium is working on similar integrations in Brazil and Mexico, according to Kopacz.
Reasons behind Argentina’s exponential crypto growth
In frontier markets like Argentina, cryptocurrency has skyrocketed. The nation marred by an unstable financial system and strong government intervention in the country’s economy has driven Argentines to seek solace in digital assets, according to a new report from the BBC.
The highly volatile Argentine peso, the country’s national currency, has been subjected to a range of financial controls that make the everyday citizens’ basic life essentials like buying and investing with the currency, increasingly difficult.
Amid this chaos and uncertainty, cryptocurrency has enjoyed a steady boon. Data from Chainalysis showed that Argentines earned $1.86 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021.
So far, the government has taken a relaxed attitude to the cryptocurrency boom. Recently it rolled out a so-called “innovation hub” to bolster fintech and cryptocurrency startups in a regulated manner.
The latest addition by the country’s largest bank to allow crypto is certainly a good start towards encouraging user adoption.