In Argentina, performing international bank transactions can be problematical and expensive, particularly international money transfers. To overcome these issues, Banco Masventas, a provincial bank, now offers Bitcoin-based money transfers. Also, over-the-counter bitcoin trading is swiftly picking up pace despite massive price volatility.
Private Banks do Not Exchange Money to Non-account Holders
Bank policies in Argentina have varied over time as to whether a non-account holder can exchange money at a private bank branch. Indeed, some banks will not exchange foreign currencies unless you have a bank account with them.
Moreover, banks charge outrageous fees for foreign ATM withdrawals or transactions from foreign banks.
For small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), international money transfers can be expensive and time-consuming. And, if the local bank does not have a presence abroad, it must use intermediaries. As a result, the costs of the transfer increase considerably.
Bitcoin Helps to Avoid SWIFT Charges
Now, Banco Masventas has come with the solution. It offers Bitcoin-based international money transfers.
Banco Masventas’ headquarters is in Salta province, Argentina.
This partnership aims to perform international money transfers using Bitcoin and so to bypass the Swift network. The cost of using Swift varies from USD 120 to USD 150 per transaction.
Bitex Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Manuel Beaudroit told ZonaBancos,
“We think of Bitcoin as a protocol of value transmission through which the ownership of an asset is transferred between two people. We, through technology, eliminate the price risk.”
Beaudroit also referred to future projects in partnership with Bitex. In effect, they are already in conversations to jointly create a network involving about 100 banks in Latin America.
Payees Receive Fiat Money, Not Bitcoin
During an interview with business intelligence platform BnAmerica, Beaudroit explained how Bitex operates,
“Transfers are from local currency to local currency. The payment settlement takes approximately one hour and avoids the use of the traditional transaction mechanism, which involves a lot of costs and time due to the number of intermediaries in the chain.”
Furthermore, referring to the role of Bitcoin, Beaudroit said,
“Bitcoin blockchain is used, but neither the payer nor the payee is exposed to the currency itself, or to its fluctuations or knowing how it works. Only the underlying technology is used.”
The cost of a Banco Masventas Bitcoin-based cross-border money transfer transaction varies from 1 percent to 2 percent, depending on the country involved.
OTC BTC Trading On LocalBitcoins Rising
Heightened market volatility has failed to dampen crypto enthusiasm throughout Argentina, as over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin trading volumes continue to soar.
Data from monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trading across three decentralized P2P platforms, confirmed the same.
Neighboring countries also saw upticks in Bitcoin trading themselves, despite the impact of US President Donald Trump saying he did not believe in or appreciate Bitcoin’s value.
How do you think that Bitcoin can help Argentina to improve international money transfer transactions? Let us know in the comments below.