Gemini, the New York-based crypto exchange, has announced that it will be expanding into Latin America through an upcoming partnership with Colombia’s largest bank, Bancolombia to trade four crypto assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
It has been reported that a limited number of users will be able to buy crypto directly from their Bancolombia bank accounts through the Gemini exchange, which will provide crypto-specific infrastructure for the exchange and custody of assets. It remains unclear whether the users will be able to withdraw the crypto holdings directly from their accounts.
However, Gemini stated that it “serves as an important step toward the strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America.”
“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.”
The report said that the partnership will run as part of a year-long pilot program run by Colombia’s financial regulator, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC). The regulatory sandbox, “la Arenera” was approved by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in September 2020.
Likewise, in January, the SFC announced that it had chosen nine out of fourteen crypto exchanges that had applied for the project, including Gemini, Binance, and the Mexican exchange Bitso. Since El Salvador adopted BTC as a legal tender on September 7, Latin America has made strides towards mainstream crypto adoption.
In October, J. P. Thieriot, the CEO of multicurrency investment platform Uphold, said that Latin America stands to “benefit the most from crypto.” Gemini currently operates in over 60 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay in Latin America.
Bancolombia operates in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala and El Salvador. According to an internal report from last year, it has 17.8 million users. In March, Colombia’s oldest bank Banco de Bogotá also announced that it would be piloting crypto services as part of la Arenera.
Thus, a year prior to March 2020, Latin America is the region with the third-largest number of crypto users in the world.