Uala Bank Launches Cryptocurrency Trading In Argentina
The Latin American fintech backed by Goldman Sachs and George Soros is launching Bitcoin and Ethereum trading on its mobile app. The bank has over 4 million customers in Argentina.
Argentine neobank Uala is releasing a cryptocurrency trading service on its mobile app. At launch, the trading platform will be available to users who are ranked high in Uala’s customer loyalty program. The bank is working on expanding the feature to all its 4.5 million customers in the coming weeks.
The crypto trading platform was developed by the fintech’s digital-asset subsidiary Uanex. The feature incorporated in the investment menu on the mobile app will allow users to trade in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Uala has promised to add support for other crypto tokens in the future. However, the neobank backed by billionaire philanthropist George Soros will not facilitate trade for fiat-backed stablecoins. When asked about the matter CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri said it was due to lack of regulatory clarity on the tokens.
“We prefer clarity and transparency: Bitcoin and Ethereum are what they are. Stablecoins will have a regulation in the future.”
Users will be able to buy, sell and store Bitcoin and Ethereum on their Uala wallets. Latin American cryptocurrency exchange Bitso has signed up to become the digital asset custodian for the bank. Uala has opened a waitlist on its website for customers to get early-access to the crypto trading service.
Cryptocurrency usage in Argentina has exploded in recent years due to the country battling with historical levels of inflation. According to government figures, inflation rates currently stand at 78.5%, with the cost of goods and services increasing 56.4% since last year. To curb rising costs of living, Argentines are converting their falling pesos into U.S dollars and cryptocurrencies. In order to stop capital loss, Argentina’s central bank imposed a limit on crypto purchases using pesos and a temporary ban on exchanging dollars on the free market.
Apart from Bitcoin and Ethereum, Uala offers funds and dollars as investment options to customers. Japanese banking conglomerate SoftBank, Chinese tech giant Tencent, American mega-bank Goldman Sachs, hedge fund Rabbit Capital and venture capital firm Monashees are shareholders in the neobank.
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