Colombia’s oldest commercial bank pilots crypto services

One of the largest banks in Colombia, Banco de Bogotá, will pilot crypto services as part of a regulatory sandbox project.

Colombia’s oldest commercial banking institution, Banco de Bogotá, is reportedly exploring cryptocurrency-related services.

According to a report by local news agency Portafolio, Banco de Bogotá announced Monday that it will participate in a pilot project directed by the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, the country’s top financial regulator. The project will be run within a regulatory sandbox — dubbed la Arenera — which was approved by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in September 2020.

Banco de Bogotá will explore the business model and potential risks associated with the management of crypto assets by allowing a select group of clients to buy and sell cryptocurrencies from the bank with the national fiat currency, the peso.

Oscar Bernal Quintero, vice president for technology development at Banco de Bogotá, said:

“One of our great motivations is to be an active part of the transformation of the country and we consider it valuable to participate in the construction of the possible regulation that would enable the exchange of crypto assets within the Colombian regulatory framework.”

The government of Colombia created la Arenera in order to let local companies test crypto transactions. According to an official announcement by the Financial Analysis and Information Unit, the sandbox was launched in March 2021.

The crypto industry has been actively growing in Colombia. The country had the largest number of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in Latin America as of October 2020.

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