2020: Game-Changer for CryptocurrenciesBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 03/23/2021 - 13:36
The COVID-19 pandemic has ignited change all over the world and altered the way people decide and consume. In Latin America, before the pandemic, only 45 percent of people had made an online transaction. Five months into the pandemic, that number rose to 83 percent, explains a Mastercard and America Market Intelligence report. With these perception shifts on digital payments, came changes in how people understand cryptocurrencies.
One of the first companies to try to get consumers to understand and use cryptocurrencies in Mexico was Bitso. Founded in 2014, the startup wanted to simplify remittance services from country to country and later became the first Mexican cryptocurrency exchange. “I was certain that cryptocurrencies were a huge opportunity for Latin America,” said Pablo González, Co-Founder of Bitso, to Forbes Mexico.
Bitso explains that the COVID-19 pandemic led many to turn toward cryptocurrencies. Daniel Vogel, General Director of Bitso, told Forbes Mexico that the company saw significant growth during the past several months as people reevaluated their perception of Bitcoin. He credits the company’s growth to two things. “First, many people thought that the dollar would depreciate and they saw cryptocurrencies as an alternative. Second, people started to see Bitcoin as a way to store value,” said Vogel to Forbes Mexico.
Over the course of 2020, cryptocurrencies became more appealing to consumers big and small, which reflected in Bitso’s transactions. During 4Q20, the company processed US$2.1 billion, an 85 percent increase over 3Q20, said Vogel to CoinTelegraph. The company has seized the moment and expanded operations regionally in Argentina with plans to expand to Brazil.
Bitso also announced the acquisition of an insurance policy with Coinover, a specialist in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, reports El Economista. “Currently, the insured cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). We are joining efforts to offer this same protection to all assets in our platforms,” said the company to El Economista.