Banco Galicia, the largest bank in the country, will allow its clients to make investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, while Brubank, another Argentine bank that operates online, announced that it will also offer cryptocurrencies.
The rollout of cryptocurrency related services by both financial entities began on Monday, May 2nd.
On its website, the “Crypto” option was added to the webpage of Banco Galicia home banking, a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Galicia, under the “Investments” section. Other investments found in the menu include “ETF”, “Fixed Term”, “FIMA Funds”, “CEDEAR Stock Bonds” and “Primary Tenders”.
The range of cryptocurrencies available for investment includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), and Ripple’s XRP. All of the aforementioned digital currencies can be purchased using Argentine pesos for a minimum investment of ARS 100 ($0.50 USD).
Limitations on Withdrawals and Sales
There are limitations for investors regarding the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies from the bank. In the event that an investor wants to withdraw capital and profits in cryptocurrencies, they must offer them for sale at the same bank.
This condition is established in the Banco Galicia investment contract, which the user must accept before being allowed to carry out operations. The investment plan was designed in partnership with Liechtenstein-based platform ‘Lirium’, which offers digital wallets and mobile banking applications.
- Because the country does not yet have a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, the category of investment is not protected by the regulations that govern the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic.
- Acquired assets will remain in the custody of the company providing the service, which Banco Galicia will have no control or influence over.
"It is guarded by an external firm. Like Paxos with PayPal in the US and Mercado Pago, here it is called Lirium," said Ignacio Carballo, a specialist in financial inclusion and fintech.
He added that “initially it will only be closed circuit -purchase and sale of pesos- crypto without mobility between users/platform. We will have to see how it goes."
Likewise, he explained that "Lirium is a great company with a lot of Argentine and Latin American talent, many of whom are former Xapo. While Paxos advances as the preponderant player in the world, it is good to see how the regional supplier market is developing."
BrubankCrypto Investments in Beta Phase
Another Argentine bank that will allow the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies is Brubank, as reported on its Twitter account. As of this week, the bank also enabled the option to acquire private digital currencies such as BTC, ETH, USDC and DAI.
“We already have crypto! It is a functionality that is being progressively enabled for all our users. When you have it enabled, you will be able to view it by entering "Investments" from the app," Brubank wrote.
At this time, the investment option is in the testing phase (beta), so it is not yet available to all users. The option is expected to receive a full release in the near future.