Argentinian bank scores Bitcoin first

Masventas Bank (BMV) has become the first domestic financial institution in the world to allow clients to use Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currencies for international transactions.

The bank has partnered with the Latin American cryptocurrency exchange startup Bitex, which is based in the United States, to utilise its technology as a vehicle for worldwide transactions as an alternative to Swift.

Bitex Chief Marketing Officer, Manuel Beaudroit said “this is the first time a domestic financial institution has adopted Bitcoin as a currency for international payments. For the customer, it’s transparent, they don’t touch, they don’t see the Bitcoin. We are a provider for them, and they are not touching Bitcoin.”

While no actual transactions have been made as of yet, Masventas will soon utilise Bitcoin for real customer transactions, Beaudroit claims. The system works exactly the same as Ripple, except with Bitcoin instead of XRP. Instead of banks dealing with fiat currency on the Swift network, the money is transmitted as cryptocurrency to an exchange that can cash out to the recipient.

The only downside to using Bitcoin for international transactions is the relatively slower transfers times and higher fees. BMV’s transmission times are “within 24 hours” as opposed to Ripple’s two minutes across the Mexico-US corridor.

Masventas’ majority stakeholder, Jose Dakak, claims the move will ultimately contribute to the further development of digital banking services and will reduce the cost of international payments.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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