Uala, an Argentina-based fintech company, announced Friday launched Customers in the country can trade Bitcoin and Ether.
Andres Rodriguez Ledermann is the Vice President of Wealth Management for Uala. He said that the new service will initially be available to only a few thousand customers. He, however, said the services will be available to all of the firm’s 4.5 million Argentine users in the coming weeks.
Rodriguez indicated that the company intends to launch the service to Mexico and Colombia, where it already operates. However, Rodriguez stressed that regulatory issues must be addressed before such operations can take place.
The report states that Uala was the first market participant in Argentina to offer crypto trading since May, when the central bank barred two banks from providing access to crypto.
Rodriguez disclosed that in order for the firm to comply with current regulations in the country, Uala established a special company to offer its crypto service – Uanex, which is based in England and has the Latin American crypto firm Bitso as its crypto liquidity provider.
The Argentine central bank banned all unregulated cryptocurrency transactions in traditional banking institutions in May. The ban was imposed by the central bank because digital assets were not regulated in Argentina.
The announcement came a few days after Argentina’s biggest private bank, Banco Galicia, and the largest 100% digital bank in Argentina, Brubank SAU, started offering digital assets trading services, including Bitcoin, Ether, and USDC stablecoin on their platforms.
This ban meant that local users could not use central crypto exchanges, or trade directly via over-the-counter platforms.
Since years, Argentina has been struggling with high inflation, devaluation of its currency the peso, and other problems. In March alone, the country’s monthly inflation rate rose to 6.7%, surpassing forecast data. To protect their savings and preserve their purchasing power, many locals have started investing in cryptocurrency. Some employers also allow to pay up to 20% of an employee’s salary in cryptocurrencies.
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