A bank in Argentina could soon become the first in the world to begin using Bitcoin for customers’ international remittances.
A small bank from Argentina, Banco Masventas, announced this week that it’s allowing customers to make settlements using BTC as a payment rail. Argentina Banco Masventas says the firm partnered with the exchange Bitex, and believes the service will reduce costs associated with international transfers.
SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS ‘NO INTERMEDIARIES’
Once payments begin being sent, Banco Masventas will likely become the world’s first banking institution to actively leverage Bitcoin as an international payments standard.
The move is an interesting move away from extant options such as the SWIFT clearing network, which has seen multiple failures and security problems in recent years.
“The service allows you to reduce costs associated with international transfers as there are no international banks as intermediaries,” a dedicated information page on the bank’s website states.
The service will initially roll out to fifty countries, with payment time-frames reduced to 24 hours.
Argentine Bank Provides Customers With a BTC International Settlement Service
On Monday, May 21 the Latin American exchange Bitex and the small financial institution Banco Masventasannounced a partnership which will provide the bank with a new cryptocurrency settlement service now offered to its customers. The bank has been a financial entity located in the heart of Argentina for years offering banking solutions to individuals and businesses mainly in the Provinces of Salta. According to Banco Masventas Facebook and Medium announcement, it will be the first bank to offer settlement services using BTC.
“The service allows you to reduce costs associated with international transfers as there are no international banks as intermediaries,” explains the Bitex and Banco Masventas announcement.
OUTPACING THE REST
If it proves to be successful, Argentina would significantly outstep progress with cryptocurrencies by its neighbors, while the country’s domestic banking sector has been preparing for closer integration for some time.
In April, an event dubbed ‘Bitcoin Day’ in the capital, Buenos Aires, saw participants approve the supportive environment around Bitcoin, contrasting it with the prohibitive stance taken by authorities in countries such as Chile.
Changes in legislation have also resulted in operators pledging to install thousands of Bitcoin ATMs throughout Argentina this year.
Earlier this month meanwhile, Brazil’s largest asset management company moved to launch an over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading platform, highlighting a wish to target institutional investor money.
Blockchain-based payments are also gaining traction with banks, with Santander becoming the first to launch the facility for customers in several jurisdictions, including Brazil, in April via a partnership with Ripple.
“Transfers to Europe can be made on the same day and we are aiming to deliver instant transfers across several markets by the summer,” the bank said in a statement.
Argentina Becomes More Friendly Towards Cryptocurrencies Every Day
If a Banco Masventas customer wants to utilize the BTC settlement service an account representative will help facilitate the transaction explains the bank. The financial institution also details that if an individual is a current account holder it’s likely they already qualify to use the BTC payment service. The bank announcement reveals the international transfer commission for BTC settlement is 3.00% + VAT.
Argentina government officials are very friendly towards public cryptocurrencies like BTC unlike neighboring countries like Ecuador. Recently the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) allowed the installation of Bitcoin Automatic Teller Machines (BTMs) in the country and residents may see an influx of BTMs this year. Last December Tim Draper told the Argentine President Mauricio Marci he should invest in cryptocurrencies. Virtual asset proponents think the Argentina-based Banco Masventas creating cryptocurrency services will prompt other Latin American banks to follow the company’s lead.