Latin America would get the maximum benefit from crypto, says Uphold CEO
As per stats, El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has fueled a digital asset revolution in Latin America.
Head of Uphold, a multicurrency investment platform, suggests that the Latin American region could benefit more if people could exchange fiat money, cryptocurrencies and its upcoming central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in the same infrastructure.
Uphold’s CEO, JP Thieriot, has underscored that the lifestyle of Latin America calls for Bitcoin-based use cases, stressing that the region would benefit the most as crypto adoption continues to increase.
Among the two most prominent crypto adopters in the Latin Americas are Venezuela and Colombia, besides El Salvador. However, other nations are bridging the gap rather quickly as El Salvador serves as a catalyst.
Thieriot explained that of Uphold’s 7 million users, 1.4 million are originally from Latin America, leading to the high adoption rate in the region to attract major global players.
He said that Bitcoin would be embraced first by those from the region who are unbanked and those who mainly send or receive remittances. However, CBDCs would emerge in popularity, surpassing the fame of cryptocurrency for local merchants. Many businesses may “prefer something stable for transactions”, he explained, but investment portfolios would “benefit much more by Bitcoin,” he stated.
As there are appropriate channels for conversion of Bitcoins, USD and any potential CBDCs, its users would have a great time having to choose between the currencies, singling out “works best for their use case,” Thieriot detailed.
Speaking of CBDCs, Thieriot remarked that every country need not make its own digital currency as it can easily adopt an existing one. The main goal for the region, he said, should be to bring a “functional system” in place wherein “anyone in the region could simply exchange between assets.”
Latin America has been enjoying a significant growth in crypto funding since the start of 2021. Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso had become the first crypto unicorn of the region via a $250-million Series C capital raise in May 2021.
Mercado Bitcoin, a Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange, has also completed a mega-funding round, securing $200 million in a SoftBank financing.
Theiriot has said that the cryptocurrency’s “main philosophical and practical pillars” are “banking the unbanked”, which entails a huge responsibility of offering people the first time access to financial services that surpass all possible things in the legacy system.
This implies that families that are dependent on remittances won’t have to witness 10 per cent to 20 per cent of their income siphoned off by money transfer companies, Thieriot said. That literally indicates that anyone can begin building an investment portfolio which would amount to “basically change the standard of living.”