Argentina’s largest private bank, Banco Galicia which is based in the country’s capital, Buenos Aires announced that it will now allow its customers to invest in different cryptocurrencies starting with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin, and Ripple (XRP).
The bank revealed this after customers had posted screenshots of the offer on their Twitter accounts.
In a statement, Ariel H. Sanchez, manager of investment products, and Nicolás de Giovanni, senior product manager of the top financial institution said:
“More than 90% of people say they know cryptocurrencies and many of them even see them as an investment and the financial future. We conducted a survey of our clients and more than 60% want to incorporate these assets into their investment portfolio, with the youngest public being the one that demands them most.”
The bank is reportedly the first bank in Argentina to support the trading of cryptocurrencies and the move has been applauded by Argentians and other crypto enthusiasts.
Argentina suffers from one of the highest rates of inflation (50%) in the world and citizens of the country have moved to cryptocurrencies to hedge against the crippling inflation.
Banco Galicia’s choice of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most popular cryptocurrencies, is a smart move. Argentians can use the bank to trade easily with people outside the country because of the universality of both currencies.
The USD Coin will help customers who do not want to enter the crypto trading or investment market but just want to keep their funds in dollars. USDC will help protect them against the feared volatility of cryptocurrencies.
Volatility means the tendency for the value of crypto coins to rise and fall within a short period of time.
Other banks in the South American country and even in the continent would be watching this decision by Galicia in order for them to determine their next move.
If it is a success, we can expect more banks to go down this route, if it isn’t, it will be a lesson on customer behaviour. Either way, it just proves that unlike in previous years, cryptocurrencies are now being considered as valid financial instruments.