The country is relatively new to crypto acceptance, but is gaining momentum quickly.
Colombia now has the most Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in Latin America. According to CoinATMRadar, Bogota, the country’s capital, has over 34 ATMs, followed by Medellin with 11 and Bucaramanga and Cali with 4 each. Other cities with at least one ATM are Armenia, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Cúcuta, La Hormiga and Pereira.
Until recently, countries such as Venezuela and Argentina were more often discussed as crypto-hot spots in terms of regional acceptance due to political and economic unrest. However, Colombia has taken important steps to regulate the country’s crypto industry. The government approved a pilot program to test crypto-transactions as early as September. The pilot project, which is being conducted in a recently introduced regulatory sandbox, will run until December 31.
In September, the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MinTIC) published a draft guideline. It called on the public sector to use block chain technology and crypto payments.
In August, Statista published a study showing that the acceptance of crypto currencies had reached double-digit figures in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma praises innovation potential of digital currencies
The current international financial system is too conservative and does not suit young people and economies, Ma said.
Jack Ma, the now retired founder of the Alibaba Group, spoke to bankers and regulators in Shanghai at the Federal Summit about the role digital currencies are likely to play in the future global financial system:
„Digital currencies could add value and we should think about how digital currencies can help us create a new type of financial system.
He said that the current financial system governed by the Basel Accords is too conservative and does not fit China’s growing economy:
„In the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, the risk control agreed in the Basel Accords was focused only on risk control and not on development. It rarely takes into account the opportunities for young people and developing countries“.
The Basel Accords provide for international regulation of banks to reduce systemic risk in the global economy. The rules became particularly strict with the adoption of Basel III in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis.
Announcing his retirement in 2018, Ma said he wanted to return to teaching. Although Ma had retired, Alibaba continued to grow and became one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization.