Gemini and Colombian bank partner to offer crypto services

The partnership is part of a one-year pilot programme run by Colombia’s financial regulator

Colombian flag                                 
Bancolombia signs crypto deal with Gemini – Photo: Alamy
                                

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2015 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, is to partner with Bancolombia to enable customers of the Colombian bank to trade cryptos through the Gemini exchange.

The partnership is part of a one-year pilot programme run by Colombia’s financial regulator, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC). It will “offer users seamless and secure access to crypto” and starts on 14 December.   

A crypto solution for the unbanked?

As there are more than 200 million unbanked adults – that is, people who do not have bank accounts – in Latin America, it is believed crypto can assist these people by giving them access to financial services in the region.

Crypto.com, the world’s fastest-growing crypto platform, recently found that 40% of Latin Americans said they are interested in buying crypto in the near future.

Bancolombia is the largest bank in Colombia, with total assets amounting to $275.76bn (£208.47bn) in 2020 and over 16 million users in the same year.

Under the pilot scheme the crypto service will be limited to a certain number of customers, who will be offered the chance to trade bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) through the Gemini exchange.

A strategic step for Gemini

The crypto exchange see this move as a “strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America”. It says it plans to work closely with the Colombian crypto ecosystem, and to “support crypto products that empower Colombians to take control of their financial lives”.

Cynthia Del Pozo Garcia, principal of strategy and corporate development of Gemini, said in the blog post announcing the partnership: “Crypto is borderless by nature, and we are committed to expanding crypto access to individuals across the globe.

“We believe that crypto can play an important role in the development of Latin America as interest in blockchain and innovative technologies proliferates throughout the region.”

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