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Argentina’s largest private banks launch crypto trading feature

Banco Galicia, Argentina’s largest private bank by market value, along with digital bank Brubank SAU has announced that their customers can make BTC, USDC, ETH and XRP purchases on their investment platforms starting May 9, 2022. Banco Galicia has reported that this recent move was prompted by high customer demand, with 60% of respondents requesting easier access to digital assets.

‘This motivated us to push this project. The youth is the group that asks for this the most’, manager of investment products Ariel Sanchez and senior product manager Nicolas de Giovanni at Banco Galicia said in a statement.

In partnership with the Argentine crypto wallet Lirium, customers from both banks will be allowed to buy crypto on the same platform where clients ​​buy bonds or stocks. However, the initial plans of Banco Galicia would only prioritise users who receive their salary via direct deposit into their bank accounts. 

The country is considered to hold the sixth-highest crypto adoption rate worldwide. According to the German statistics firm statistics, approximately 21% of the Argentine population has owned crypto starting last year. 

With these crypto offerings launched by regulated banks, Argentine customers can stay ahead of the currency and inflation crises rising above 50% in the country. A study published by Buenos Aires-based advertising company, Wunderman Thompson, revealed that two-thirds of Argentines believe that crypto investments will protect their savings from diminishing purchasing power. 

According to the proponents, digital assets like Bitcoin are the ideal inflation hedge due to their decentralised and scarce nature. 

However, this is not the country’s first approach to crypto adoption. Just last month, the town of Sorradino in Argentina bought mining rigs to start a mining operation in an attempt to fight inflation. Mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, also announced that the city would launch a blockchain-based digital identification (DID) platform for its citizens and will start accepting crypto payments within public financial services.

‘All that information stream, which will widen in a geometrical progression, will be protected by blockchain technology. We are going to become the pioneers of that technology adoption so the users could control their data on their own’, said Larreta.

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