The adoption of bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in El Salvador caused, almost rebound, a positive impact in Colombia, and it is no wonder, because in the Central American country there is a large coffee presence: more than half of Salvadoran banking is in the hands of three Colombian giants.
Bancolombia, one of the main institutions in that country, is home to almost 27% of the banking market in El Salvador , while Davivienda and Banco de Bogotá each cover 12% of the sector, according to Semana magazine.
More in detail, Banco Agrícola , which is the largest bank in El Salvador, responds, since 2007, to Grupo Bancolombia. In 2012, Davivienda bought HSBC’s operations in Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. And, in 2010, Banco de Bogotá acquired BAC Credomatic, which is the Central American financial group that operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
What does it mean? In clear and practical terms, that Colombian banks will now have the task of implementing bitcoin in their operations in El Salvador.
And, in to a large extent, they already have. This is the case of Banco Agrícola, which launched a novel option to use BTC for payments and storage, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
To achieve this, Grupo Bancolombia had to paralyze part of its cryptocurrency-based work in its native country. According to the president of the institution, Juan Carlos Mora, the team that worked with the Financial Superintendence of Colombia in the development of the sandbox ( sandbox ), had to stop and turn to supporting El Salvador to develop the app.
Mora acknowledged that, although the country’s technical team The Central American moved “very fast”, taking giant steps to convert a legal tender to bitcoin, all the experience and knowledge acquired in Colombia served them “a lot” to implement the adjustments.
“Already we knew providers, we already knew who to connect with », he commented, quoted by Semana.
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However, he believes that what is currently happening in El Salvador, will also serve to advance the development of the industry of cryptocurrencies in Colombia , because what was a “controlled experiment” in the Caribbean country, became an “applied reality” in the Salvadoran nation.
“And we are going to have many lessons learned about things that will work and others that will have to be corrected,” he said.
The Colombian sandbox includes bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
As we reported in CriptoNoticias, the Financial Superintendency was working since last year in a sandbox , or arenera, where the financial system in full gains practical experience to buy or sell a cryptocurrency, both in processes of cash in (convert money into cryptocurrencies) or cash out (convert cryptocurrencies into fiat).
Banco de Bogotá, Bancolombia and Davivienda participate in the sandbox for the banking part; Movii, Powwi and Coink, for the government-controlled digital platforms; and Binance and Buda, for the exchange houses.
The project proposes that companies that offer services with cryptocurrencies that operate in Colombia, or want to operate, must go hand in hand of an entity supervised by the Superintendency.