Bitso Rolls Out Crypto QR Payment Tool in Argentina

Bitso, Latin America’s leading crypto exchange, announced on Thursday that it is preparing to roll out a new QR code payment tool in its wallet app that will enable users in Argentina to pay with cryptocurrency at retail shops.

The new payment method is expected to give consumers an alternative to using the Argentine peso and will be beneficial in curbing the country’s inflation.

Beginning on September 27, members of the Bitso exchange in Argentina (estimated to be more than a million users in the country) will gradually be given access to the QR code option.

In a country where inflation is approaching 80% compared to last year, and the purchasing value of the peso is falling, the QR codes will give Argentina consumers another way to save money in crypto and spend it in actual stores.

Bitso’s Senior Vice President of Product Santiago Alvarado commented: “The idea is to make crypto more useful in more places and allow all citizens to live their lives in crypto by buying everyday services.”

The Bitso wallet software will be able to scan the QR codes in many stores in Argentina and give customers the choice of purchasing using Bitcoin, Ether, the Dai stablecoin, U.S.-dollar pegged stablecoins or Argentine Pesos. At the time of purchase, Bitso will automatically convert the merchant’s crypto into Argentine pesos.

Bitso’s wallet will be able to scan QR codes from “all other systems approved by the central bank,” Alvarado said.

Why the QR code surge in LATAM

QR codes are a popular payment method in Argentina – a nation that has the highest rate of QR code usage in Latin America, according to data from the Mastercard New Payments Index.

In a historically cash-based economy where a big chunk of the population remains unbanked (over 40% of Argentina residents are unbanked and in other related countries, including Colombia, Mexico, and Peru), digital payments are surging at a high rate in Latin America. QR code payments have surged in popularity, whose widespread use was significantly triggered by the covid-19 pandemic.

QR, which stands for “quick response”, — and codes can be encrypted with payment information to facilitate contactless digital purchasing. QR codes allow consumers to make payments simply by scanning the code with their smartphone camera, which then withdraws funds from their digital wallet.

Companies facilitating QR code payments in Latin America are emerging all across the region. In Argentina, companies such as Mercado Pago, TodoPago, ValePEI, Ualá, PIM, and Rapipago allow users to pay via QR codes from their digital wallets or accounts.

The Argentina Central Bank recently spurred the bandwagon, allowing several digital payment provider companies to offer QR code payments. This marks a huge step towards transforming the payment methods of a society that traditionally depends on cash.

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Bitso Reaches 1 Million Users Mark in Brazil

Bitso has now reached a mark of one million users in Brazil, a year after its release in the country, the Mexican cryptocurrency exchange announced.


Thales Freitas, Bitso’s Brazil chief, told Reuters that the company achieved the 1 million users mark in Brazil earlier than expected. He also added that the transaction volumes grew by 66% in June from May.

Freitas also told Reuters that the readings in July have already exceeded the previous month despite the market downturn. However, he did not provide detailed figures.

In Brazil, Bitso currently operates in partnership with lenders Banco Genial and Starkbank.

Bitso raised $250 million in a funding round in May 2021, which took the company’s valuation to $2.2 billion prior to its debut in Brazil.

Bitso has lifted its incentive program to tackle the increasingly adverse environment of robust asset volatility and higher interest rates. The platform is offering returns of up to 15% per year in stablecoins.

Bitso was founded in 2014 and headquartered in Mexico.

“Brazilian investors love fixed income, and stablecoins are a good way to diversify,” Freitas said.

Currently, Bitso is awaiting central bank approval for its application for a payment institution license in Brazil.

According to Blockchain.News, Bitso recently announced the decision to lay off 80 employees to maintain its long-term business strategy.

The reason for the layoffs is not regarding lack of funding but the need to optimise manpower in a rapidly changing crypto industry, the report added.

Before the layoffs, the exchange had more than 700 employees.

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Top Latin American Crypto Exchange Bitso Enters Colombia

Bitso, one of Latin America’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said Thursday it will enter the Colombian market, hiring former Mastercard executive Emilio Pardo as its new country manager.

As the new country manager in ColombiaPardo will be responsible for the development strategy for the entire country, allowing Bitso crypto exchange to integrate into the local financial ecosystem better, educating local users on cryptocurrency adoption and increasing local financial inclusion,

Pardo said the Bitso exchange is testing its products within a regulatory framework that involves the integration of banks, exchanges, regulators, and end-users.

he added that:

“As an end-to-end regulated crypto platform, we can ensure that this opportunity is putting Colombia at the forefront of innovation and regulation,”

Bitso is a Mexico-based cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded on January 4th, 2014. Now officially operating in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, and Colombia With a current customer base of over 3.7 million people spread across Latin America.

As early as 2021, Bitso will start working with Bank of Bogotá, Colombia’s first commercial bank, to try out the exchange’s products and services.

The exchange expanded the market to Argentina in February 2020 and then entered Brazil in April 2021 supports cryptocurrencies trading including Bitcoin, Ethereum, TrueUSD, Ripple, etc.

As reported by Blockchain.News on January 10, South American trading platform, Bitso has inked a partnership with the Sao Paulo Football Club to be the team’s official sponsor from now until the next three years.

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Top Latin American exchange Bitso officially expands to Colombia

Bitso, a major Latin American cryptocurrency exchange and El Salvador’s crypto wallet assistant firm, has announced its formal launch in Colombia.

As part of Bitso’s development strategy in Colombia, the exchange has hired former Mastercard executive Emilio Pardo as new country manager, the firm announced to Cointelegraph on Thursday.

Pardo is former head of business development for the Andean Region at Mastercard, where he focused on fintech issues like instant and cross-border financial transactions and open banking. He will now be responsible for developing Bitso’s strategy in Colombia to increase the local crypto adoption and financial inclusion, focusing on Bitso’s strategic basics including education and security.

According to Pardo, Latin America is now going through one of the most important moments in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, and Colombia is not an exception. The growing crypto adoption will not only benefit Colombia’s financial ecosystem, but will also help educate and address the needs of our customers and fellow citizens, he noted.

Bitso’s Colombian operations are regulated by a major local financial authority, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, or SFC. According to the announcement, the SFC granted Bitso with authorization to operate within la Arenera, the regulatory framework of its sandbox and crypto pilot program in late 2021.

Under this framework, Bitso started working in partnership with Colombia’s first commercial bank, Banco de Bogotá, in 2021 to trial the exchange’s products and services.

“As an end-to-end regulated crypto platform, we can ensure that this opportunity is putting Colombia at the forefront of innovation and regulation,” Pardo said. He added that the crypto exchange is testing its products within a regulation framework that takes into consideration the entire ecosystem of financial services, including banks, exchanges, regulators and end users.

Related: Colombia clamps down on crypto tax evasion as adoption thrives

Founded in 2014 in Mexico, Bitso is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Latin America, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The exchange has been growing massively in recent years, expanding to Argentina in February 2020 and then entering Brazil in April 2021.

The exchange is also present in El Salvador, which officially adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021. Bitso specifically cooperated with Silvergate to facilitate United States dollar transactions for El Salvador’s official Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, Chivo wallet, at launch.