It is no more news that our traditional banking system has started integrating cryptocurrency into its services. The process is gradual but very obtainable. We are looking at the banking industry where customers can walk in and buy bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency of their choice. While other countries are optimistic about this transformation, some banks in Argentina are already a step ahead of others, trying to adapt to the rapidly changing economic environment. One of such banks is the Buenos Aires bank Banco Galicia; it is one of the oldest banks in the country. Established in 1905, the bank has successfully created 350 branches in the country and recently has introduced Bitcoin (BTC) as one of its services.
Aside from Ethereum, customers can also buy bitcoin, Ripple, and USDC. They didn’t do it alone; they had to partner with a reputable cryptocurrency service company to pull it off. Buenos Aires bank Banco Galicia is currently partnering with Lirium AG. Lirium AG is known to provide plug & play crypto services for financial institutions, especially banks, to help them start up with cryptocurrency services. And as we all know from the global economic statistics, Argentina has one of the highest inflation rates hence, the wide cryptocurrency acceptance.
The bank has more employees paid with cryptocurrencies than any country globally. Statistics also showed that the number of companies that have adopted crypto to pay salaries to their employees increased by over 340% in one year. The small skill businesses are behind the progressive adoption of this method: they seem to buy bitcoin and other coins for virtually every transaction.
Banco Galicia and the Whole Crypto Project
As mentioned earlier, Banco Galicia is Argentina’s biggest bank and currently has over 4 million corporate and private customers. It also boasts of more than 600 branches in different parts of the world. The bank doesn’t only let customers buy bitcoin; customers can also sell their coins. Another thing you need to know about this service because you cannot transfer or withdraw your coin. At least not yet. Again, the bank also offers its customers a depository function, which is why analysts believe that they plan to introduce cryptocurrency services to all their customers by May 2022.
In another development, Lirium is reported to be partnering with four Argentine-based financial institutions that are currently tolling the path of Banco Galicia. The company also said they are working on similar projects for some clients in Mexico and Brazil.
Is Banco Galicia the only Argentinian Bank Customer who can Buy Bitcoin?
The decision by Banco Galicia was triggered by a survey carried out by the bank. The survey said that 60% of respondents showed the need for the bank to integrate a crypto section into their banking system. And those respondents were mainly young people who specifically confessed that they wished they could buy bitcoin on the bank’s platform. A statement by the bank manager said that although integration may be slow, it will surely be achieved. But in a new development, Banco Galicia critics believe that the bank is not ready yet. It was made known when a Twitter user asked the company whether they could now buy bitcoin on their platform, of which the bank declined the readiness of such features.
Meanwhile, customers of the bank are not yet ready to withdraw cryptocurrencies from the platform. So, the critics are partially right about the bank not being serious about the whole integration process. Also, from a little investigation about the bank’s recent operations, they are fully focused on this crypto integration project – they are making it so that bitcoin becomes a method of savings.
Currently, Argentina ranks among the top 10 countries that have fully adopted the use of cryptocurrency in their system. As we have earlier stated, the massive adaptability of digital assets into their economy is because the country has been hit by high inflation, which is a little above 50%. And in another research carried out in the country on the crypto adaptation, two-thirds of the respondents said that they invested in crypto to secure their funds against the surging inflation. And now, the traditional banks will integrate crypto into their system; it is expected that the rate at which the Argentinians buy bitcoin and its equivalents will drastically increase.