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  • Guatemalans using OSMO Wallet now have access to instant, low-cost bitcoin remittances and payments.
  • OSMO partnered with IBEX Mercado to develop Lightning infrastructure for its users.
  • OSMO partners with AirPak, a remittance company which will allow OSMO customers to cash-out bitcoin at over 8,000 locations.

A new partnership between IBEX Mercado – an integral bitcoin infrastructure provider to the El Salvadoran bitcoin rollout – and startup Guatemalan bitcoin service provider OSMO Wallet is enabling users to buy, sell and transact in bitcoin in one of the most underbanked regions in the world, in a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine

Nearly 70% of Central Americans are unbanked even though the population has an incredible smartphone penetration rate. Thus, while financial inclusion is waning, the capacity for connection within the region is ever-expanding.

Therefore, with heightened levels of connectivity in Guatemala, OSMO Wallet provided a necessary function in the region through a partnership with AirPak – a money transfer services company – which operates in over 8,000 retail locations from Mexico to Costa Rica which allow OSMO users to cash-out BTC held in their wallet for fiat.

“Latin America has one of the most under-banked populations in the world, and Bitcoin has the potential to be truly transformational,” said Piero Coen, co-founder of OSMO Wallet. “The challenge of exchanging Bitcoin for cash has been a major roadblock to adoption. By bringing cash convertibility for the unbanked across LATAM, we’re changing the game.”

With the addition of IBEX’s infrastructure, OSMO will now be able to perform both on and off-chain transactions by leveraging the Lightning Network without requiring users to change any settings enabling low-cost remittances and payments. Additionally, OSMO Business – a Lightning Network point of sale – was built on top of IBEX’s application programming interface (API) and has a record go-to-market time in Latin America, according to the release.

“By demonstrating how easily and quickly we can enable financial services to go to market using the lightning network we can actually empower local communities that have historically been excluded,” said Esteban de la Peña, partner at IBEX. “Our infrastructure services will transform people’s lives, while making [Latin America] LATAM a compelling case study and proof of concept for other under-served communities across the globe.”

OSMO stated a goal of 1 million retail points adopting a bitcoin standard within the next five years across Latin America by leveraging these services.