Colombia’s Bancolombia customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies more easily by connecting their accounts with the US-based Gemini exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The pilot partnership between the two financial entities is expected to last one year and has been approved by Colombia’s financial regulator as part of several innovation projects under its supervised ‘sandbox’ programme.
In Bancolombia’s case, the aim of the sandbox project is to test the cash-in and cash-out operations connected with a crypto exchange. The pilot will begin in mid-December when Bancolombia will invite its own employees to participate in the project, followed by selected customers totalling up to 5,000 monthly active users. Those users will then be able to have a Gemini account, credit it with Colombian pesos and trade in cryptos.
Gemini stated that it sees Latin America as a growth area for cryptos driven by a large remittance market and local currency fluctuations. Bancolombia’s deal may be one of many future expansion projects involving the exchange in a region where it plans to increase its presence.
"This is a project worth watching as it may set best practices on how to connect current accounts in one country with crypto exchanges elsewhere, without complicated hurdles and the need to exchange fiat currencies in the process. Just the kind of simplification of financial transactions I believe Blockchain will facilitate, making transactions easier and cheaper for everyone."
Commented Eduardo Carvalho, the founder and CEO of Dynasty Global Investments AG.