Latin America is at the crossroads of a revolution in crypto adoption, says the head of global crypto exchange BigONE
Decentralized crypto initiatives and government moves to co-opt crypto show that Latin American is at the crossroads of a revolution in crypto adoption, said Anndy Lian, Chairman of BigONE Exchange, following a successful Blockchain Summit LatAm, which ended on September 10.
“The news that El Salvador has launched Bitcoin as legal tender is encouraging news for the whole region, but such a decentralized currency needs to include education and practical tools for everyday use that are built with its users in mind — principles which are at the heart of our own global exchange,” he added.
The trend towards greater use of cryptocurrency in Latin America is not hard to see. Between 2017 and 2020, the bitcoin volume in Latin America has an average of 6% of the volume of BTC globally. In March 2020, Latin America had a 15.8% share, compared to 6% in the US. In April 2021, the Latin American countries with the highest volume of cryptocurrencies are Colombia, with 45% of bitcoin volume in the region; followed by Peru with 13%; Chile with 12%; Mexico with 11%; and Brazil with 11%.
Another trend is the growing commitment from Latin American governments to advance central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), with the Central Bank of Venezuela launching its CBDC in October. The region’s regulators aren’t uniformly in favor of cryptocurrency, however, so progress its likely to be uneven.
While the LatAm conference was taking place Mauricio Moura, a director of the Central Bank of Brazil, stated that anonymity when using crypto won’t be a choice for users in future, an approach likely to be followed by other Latin American governments. Nevertheless, Visa’s vice president of new business in Brazil stated recently that the company will be testing direct bitcoin payments this year.
The potential of decentralized digital assets to disrupt Latin American markets isn’t going away any time soon however, especially with the global boom in the market for NFTs. In Latin America culture, where art, design, music, and sports are celebrated, the NFT market is starting to grow, such as Influxo’s Ronaldinho NFT supported by BigONE, which will be launched shortly. Although NFTs are still relatively new to Latin America marketplaces, it’s a part of the revolution in crypto adoption that will only increase in popularity.