Banco Galicia and Brubank, Argentina's largest and second-largest private banks, have announced that customers would be able to buy cryptocurrency.
According to Bloomberg, a resounding 60% of respondents in an Argentinian poll called for broader access to cryptocurrency, which prompted banks to begin enabling crypto trading.
Ignacio Carballo, an affiliate at market research firm Americas Market Intelligence, confirmed on Tuesday that Banco Galicia has began enabling Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), and Ripple (XRP) purchases with images of the bank's online interface.
.#IMPORTANTE: El Banco Galicia incorpora función de comprar #criptomonedas!— Ignacio E. Carballo (@IECarballo) May 2, 2022
Se transforma así en el PRIMER BANCO DE ARGENTINA en ofrecer el servicio #critpo. Impresionante paso de la Banca Tradicional.
(P.S.: hay que decirlo: chupate esa mandarina!) pic.twitter.com/0Kpi3oMUIL
The South American country has the world's sixth-highest crypto adoption rate. Statista projects that by 2021, 21% of Argentines would have used or owned cryptocurrency.
Allowing consumers to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through their banks may help Argentines stay ahead of the country's crippling inflation. Argentina's inflation rate in April was 55 percent, according to the latest figures from economic data tracker Trading Economics. Bitcoin's scarcity and decentralization, according to proponents, make it the ideal inflation hedge.
Last month, the Argentine town of Sorradino bought mining rigs and announced plans to start a Bitcoin mining company to combat inflation. Its mining revenue was believed to be worth several hundred dollars each month.
The mayor of Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, said late last month that the city would begin accepting cryptocurrency as payment for public financial services, citing its high adoption rate. For its people, the city also intends to develop a blockchain-based digital identity (DID) platform.
Despite the fact that Argentina is not the largest country in South America, it is leading the way in crypto adoption. On April 26, Brazil's senate passed the Bitcoin Law bill, which could provide a much-needed legislative framework for the country's crypto economy. It simply needs to pass one more committee before President Jair Bolsonaro signs it into law.