With its “LaArenera” program, Colombia is embracing the integration of bitcoin with its regulated financial institutions.
Colombia has authorized eight bitcoin exchanges for regulatory sandbox testing to start this month.
The Financial Superintendency of Colombia (FSC) recently authorized nine alliances between local, regulated banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. The initial partnerships are reportedly going to include: Bancolombia with Gemini; Davivienda and Powwi with Binance; Banco de Bogotá with Bitso and Buda; Coltefinanciera with Obsidiam; Coink with Banexcoin; and Movii with Panda and Bitpoint.
Since 2020, the FSC has been focused on exploring the use of bitcoin in the country. Late last year, it published an official note to clarify that there are no prohibitions against companies in the country using their funds to buy bitcoin.
This latest pilot program, called “LaArenera” (or “the sandbox’) may last until 2022, according to reports. Eventually, the partners will be conducting financial operations under the scrutiny of Colombian regulators.
“The regulatory body reported that, once the application and selection phase is completed, the structuring phase will begin in which exchanges and banks will carry out operations with crypto assets,” according to Explica. “One aspect that stands out is that two of the most important exchanges in the Bitcoiner ecosystem applied for evaluations. In the event that Binance and Gemini successfully complete the evaluations together with the allied banks, then they would be formalizing their operations to the local market, all with the approval of the authorities.”
Bitcoin is going to produce global change and, through this sandbox program, this potential is already being realized in a sub-developed country that has been recognized for its place in the drug market, but is not well known for the real opportunities that it brings to future investors. This pilot program could change the perception of bitcoin around the world and could influence Colombia to consider it as a valid investment for its own citizens, as well as a future part of the Colombian stock market and its essential economic infrastructure.
Colombia is paving the way, and this country may soon be considered as the first option for the retirement of bitcoin millionaires and bitcoin investors all over the world, who will know that their bitcoin wealth is appreciated in a beautiful country that still has much to explore.
This is a guest post by Gaby Vivas. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.