Through a partnership with Uruguay-based remittance company, More Money Transfers (MMT), Latin American Bitcoin exchange Bitex.la has 19 agents in Argentina and one in Chile who will now sell bitcoin.
Providing services for the non- or underbanked in emerging markets has been regarded as a powerful use case for bitcoin, especially in Argentina. The country’s high inflation and strict economic controls have led many to believe bitcoin as currency and a payment network could succeed there.
According to a company spokesman, Bitex.la had that in mind when they were planning the branches. The exchange currently allows people in numerous Latin American countries to buy bitcoin, but that requires a bank account. The new retail stores allow Argentina’s and Chile’s unbanked population to buy bitcoin with cash.
Offline Then Online
Bitex.la says it has signed an exclusive agreement to use More Money Transfers’ large agent network in Latin America. More Money Transfers has agents in more than 13 Latin America countries and partners around the world.
Customers interested in buying bitcoin will first need to create a Bitex.la account online and go through the know-your-customer process. Once the account is activated, he or she can then go to one of the More Money Transfers branches with a valid ID and pesos. Fifteen minutes later, U.S. dollars will be credited to the user’s account and then he or she will be able to buy bitcoin online.
Currently there are More Money Transfers offices in Chile’s capital, Santiago, and in numerous Argentinian cities, including 12 in the nation’s capital, Buenos Aires. Bitex.la told Bitcoin Magazine they will expand to all of Latin America and that the service will be expanded to Uruguay, Peru and Brazil in the coming weeks.
Bitex.la said More Money Transfers is very supportive of Bitcoin, citing the company’s exclusive deal and further expansion as proof. More Money Transfers says it looks at digital currency as “near-future remittance technology.”
Latin American Powerhouse
Bitex.la was founded in 2014 and quickly became a leader in Latin America’s digital currency industry. The company operates an online bitcoin exchange that is available in nearly every South American exchange and has partnered with AstroPay, one of the largest payments services in the region.
In May of last year, the exchange launched with a $2 million investment from an undisclosed U.K. firm. Later that year, the company bought regional digital currency exchange Conectabitcoin. The company has continued to run and grow the exchange as it seeks to bring bitcoin to Latin America.