Blockchain technology is disrupting Latin America’s private and public sector. The fintech is slowly shaping the economically paralyzed South American countries. The companies and start-ups based in this region have been quick to grasp the importance of the Blockchain and are experimenting with the technology across industries.
Years of economic instability across the region have forced the working class as well as the wealthy, to seek out new ways to safeguard their savings from cyclical inflations and currency controls. Hence, these new types of currencies offer them a logical alternative to the national currencies. They allow the economically weak citizens to get around the regulatory guidelines of the central banks, which have been denying them access to essential financial services like digital payments, money transfers, consumer lending, and individual investing. Cryptocurrency and the Digital wallets allow them to participate in the myriad of digital services available, from consumer loans to secure peer-to-peer payments.
Venezuela and Brazil witnessed 1000 percent and 450 percent rise in cryptocurrency transactions, respectively in 2017. Argentina saw an increase of 625% in the same year. The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is included in the top ten cities with the strongest bitcoin presence.
Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile are presently the hotbeds for crypto and blockchain start-ups. They boast of a well-developed blockchain ecosystem to transform the region’s private sector and could reshape the industries and redefine services.
RSK Labs in Argentina has created a smart-contract platform connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. They raised $3.5 million in Series A funding in 2017. The company has partnered with the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) to offer a blockchain curriculum.
In Brazil, crypto brokers ‘Bitcoin to You’ and Foxbit are managing a major portion of the exchanges for the country’s 1.4 million crypto exchange users. The Brazilian government is planning to use blockchain to control corruption and improve the financial infrastructure.
In Mexico, 80 million people are reported to lack access to essential banking services, but the Mexican exchange Bitso has 500,000 users. Many industries based in the country are experimenting with the blockchain to tackle inefficiencies inherent in the political and economic system.
Colombian start-up Project Cycle has designed blockchain-based tools to allow homeowners to earn crypto tokens for sharing surplus energy with communities in need. The second largest bank in the country, Bancolombia, has been working on open-source blockchain-based platforms and protocols since 2015.
The General Treasury of the Republic of Chile which manages the tax collection had announced their decision to launch a blockchain project to modernize its processes and enhance the path of the nation’s digital transformation.
As most of the wealthier nations are still doubting over the technology, these South American countries are leading the way and are proving themselves pioneers in the world of the blockchain.