The use of Bitcoin in El Salvador has not had the best of starts. Yet financial institutions are already doing their best to comply with the law.
Bancoagrícola, the country’s largest financial institution, is among the first banks to include Bitcoin-enabled technology solutions and is already adapting its infrastructure to offer Bitcoin services through a partnership with digital payment startup Flexa.
Bancoargícola and Flexa team up to bring Bitcoin to banks
According to an official press release shared by Flexa, the integration of the two parties will allow Salvadorans to use basic banking services, whether they choose Bitcoin or dollars.
The startup mentioned that Bancoagrícola has started supporting Bitcoin for loans, credit cards, and merchant goods and services with the goal of complying with Bitcoin law as soon as possible.
The Bitcoin law, introduced by President Bukele in June and approved a few hours later by the country’s pro-Bukele congress, stipulates that Bitcoin will be recognized as legal tender, being compulsorily accepted by any economic agent with the minimum means necessary for it. use. this.
Since Bitcoin operates outside the banking structure, the government created the Chivo wallet and released $ 30 in BTC to all Salvadorans who download it. The Chivo wallet is custodian, does not depend directly on any bank, and allows immediate and allegedly free of charge exchange between Bitcoin and dollars.
But Bancoagrícola would go a step further from the point of view of integrated financial services. The partnership will even serve to offer Bitcoin compatibility at Bancoagrícola outlets without the need to use the Chivo wallet.
Banks in El Salvador are not the only innovators
Bancoagrícola is a subsidiary of Bancolombia, Colombia’s leading bank. In this country, Bancolombia is working on an integration with the US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to offer similar services through the regulatory sandbox that has been in place since 2019.
The integration with Flexa would be a unique innovation in the world. Carlos Mauricio Novoa, COO of Bancoagrícola, said they are excited about the future prospects and hope to continue improving their services in this new economic stage that is starting in the country.
“We are delighted to be the first financial institution in El Salvador to provide access to bitcoin to our clients across our range of financial products and to improve financial inclusion. Flexa has been instrumental in helping us prioritize the experiences of our customers using bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador; we look forward to continuing to innovate alongside them for a long time to come.
With this solution, Salvadorians would enjoy full Bitcoin-to-fiat compatibility even if they used a third-party wallet alongside the government-sponsored Chivo wallet.
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