Argentina is one of those underbanked nations in the world, where local residents are looking for ways to move funds in and out of the country in a convenient manner. Unfortunately for those people, the Argentinian government has enforced very strict capital controls, all but eliminating the option to move funds outside of the country. Bitcoin offers major potential in this regard and Argentina is warming up to virtual currency.
Unisend – Argentinian Bitcoin Exchange
Unisend (Argentina) is a well-respected company in Argentina, as this is the country’s first order-book exchange. There are not that many Bitcoin exchanges in Argentina to begin with, despite there being an increasing demand for options to buy and sell Bitcoin by local residents.
What makes Unisend different from other Bitcoin exchanges in Argentina, is how the platform matches up buyers and sellers immediately. By supporting both the Argentine Peso, as well as Bitcoin, anyone in the country can quickly convert fiat currency into virtual currency and vice versa.
It should come as no surprise to find out that Unisend has attracted the attention of other companies active in the Argentine Bitcoin ecosystem. BitPagos, a Latin American Bitcoin payment processor, has recently acquired Unisend for an undisclosed amount of money and equity. The main purpose of this acquisition is to launch BitPagos’ new platform, called Gravel.
To be more precise, Gravel has been available to the public since August of 2014, but this acquisition will give BitPagos a chance to offer a full suite of Bitcoin tools to customers. A fully operation Bitcoin exchange on Gravel is just one of the many services offered by the company, but it is one of the most important aspects to raising Bitcoin awareness.
There is a clear need for convenient and hassle-free transaction processing in Latin America. Many countries are struggling with inflationary currency, soaring prices and strict capital controls. Bitcoin can circumvent all of these issues and is not tied to any local government in any way. While other countries around the world see this as one of Bitcoin’s weaknesses, merchants in Argentina see it as a blessing.
“The acquisition of Unisend and the integration of BitPagos onto the Unisend bitcoin exchange platform will result in a significant increase in bitcoin transactions, promoting and strengthening the Latin American and Argentinian bitcoin network.” – A BitPagos representative told the media on their blog post
BitPagos Boosting Bitcoin in Argentina
The acquisition of Unisend will hopefully help BitPagos to increase their business in the next few months and years. If everything goes according to plan, BitPagos will be processing over US$1m worth of transaction volume on a monthly basis. Quite a staggering amount, but a major boon for Bitcoin and virtual currencies.
Despite a major opportunity for Bitcoin companies to gain a foothold in Argentina, obtaining the virtual currency is a difficult process in the country. Furthermore, Argentina houses only one Bitcoin ATM in the entire country, which is located in the capital of Buenos Aires. Not too many details are known regarding this Bitcoin ATM, other than the fact it is manufactured by Skyhook.
Source: BitPagos Blog
Images courtesy of Unisend, BitPagos, Shutterstock