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Why Latin America could become the cryptocurrency industry’s biggest market

Operations with bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and technologies associated with blockchains have been silently earning hundreds of users in the digital ecosystem in Latin America. The cryptocurrency market is growing and it is evolving. There is increasing interest, both in trading and buying cryptocurrencies as investment. 2.49 million transactions were made in cryptocurrencies in just 2 months.



This picture show a bitcoin on top of other coins.

Cryptocurrency has had a difficult 2019 but there is some hope in Latin America. The continent has seen widespread adoption of cryptocurrency and could represent the next breakthrough region for the cryptocurrency industry. 

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Brazil’s crypto market is growing rapidly

The population of Brazil has shown a growing interest in cryptocurrencies and the adoption of their underlying technology. In fact, Brazil’s Federal Revenue Service, known as Receita Federal, reports a figure close to $3 billion (BRL 14 billion) in cryptocurrency transactions, declared by taxpayers between August and September.

According to the reports, the collection agency said the figure corresponds to a total of 2.49 million transactions. It should be noted that on August 1, a regulation came into force requiring Brazilian residents to report transactions involving cryptocurrencies.

In addition, at the end of August, it appeared in the news that the Central Bank of Brazil (Bancen) included in the statistics of its external sector an official recognition of cryptocurrencies as an asset or “produced good”, which will be considered in the calculation of the balance of payments.

Colombia, a booming market

The market for cryptocurrencies is booming in Colombia. A survey conducted among the Colombian population by the trading platform Paxful, with the support of consumer information firm Toluna Insights, showed that 86.5% of those surveyed are familiar with cryptocurrencies and most of them (79.7%) said Bitcoin is their favorite.

The country has become a potential location for the development of projects based on blockchains, both at government and private levels. Just a few days ago, Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office said it was moving forward with a project to increase the levels of transparency in the awarding of contracts and thus minimize cases of corruption in its School Food Program. To achieve its goal, the entity is developing a proposal, in conjunction with the National University of Colombia (UNAL), based on a chain of blocks.

In addition, the Colombian state oil company, Ecopetrol, has a digital transformation plan in place, which contemplates the use of a blockchain to improve processes in the oil and gas supply chain. Meanwhile, the National Guild of Young Coffee Growers of Colombia (GNJC) presented, in August, the cryptocurrency Coffee is designed to provide a boost to the country’s coffee industry.

Despite government efforts cryptocurrency adoption continues in Bolivia

In spite of the Bolivian Government’s ban on the use of cryptocurrency, the acceptance of bitcoin and other crypto-assets by users in Bolivia is growing. In fact, the Bolivian Mind Blockchain (BMB) community continues to be committed to underpinning cryptocurrencies for the benefit of economic diversification. 

In the country, enthusiasts such as Gabriela Melendrez Alaro, founder of the BMB collective, believe that the cryptocurrency ban will not prevent the growth of the industry in the nation. Instead he believes that the Bolivian crypto community will make a case that crypto can provide an effective way to diversify the Bolivian economy.

The BMB community also promote the use of digital signatures by considering them as a technological solution that seeks to give security and confidence to electronic documents. These methods could help build a more secure and transparent system for the Latin American nation and become a key tool to fight corruption.

Costa Rica needs more momentum

In Costa Rica, the adoption of crypto assets among the population is increasing. Several exchange houses operate in the country and it has a Bitcoin ATM. Some merchants have begun to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. The Central Bank indicated that people who carry out transactions using cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk.

In October, Costa Rica became the first Central American country to be included in the LACChain regional alliance, an initiative led by the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Lab) that seeks to boost the development of blockchains technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the year, one of the news stories that generated the greatest impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem and in Costa Rica was the kidnapping and murder of American businessman William Sean Creighton Kopko. After a year of being kidnapped and having his family pay a ransom in bitcoin for his release, the 43-year-old bookmaker was found lifeless in the city of Quepos.

This sad event highlights one of the major concerns surrounding digital money. It can allow criminals easier access to funds and make it harder to trace and prevent criminal activity. Governments in Latin America, and across the globe, will need to take steps to curtail this problem in the near future.


(Featured image by Michael Wuensch via Pixabay)

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First published in CRIPTONOTICIAS, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Philip Gregg is a tech biz writer, with a keen understanding of blockchain technology, Internet of Things, and cloud services. He also serves as chief consultant for an IT business in Washington and a cryptowallet startup in Tokyo. Philip holds an MBA in finance and has previously worked at a Silicon Valley company before striking out on his own. He is a dad to three German Shepherds and owns a sweet vintage Mustang he fondly calls Sadie.