The Argentinian Banco Masventas has launched a plan that will allow its customers to send cross-border payments via the Bitcoin network. The service is set to be available to send payments between 50 countries; each transaction will be executed in 24 hours or less.
The move is a result of a partnership with Bitex, a crypto exchange startup targeting Latin American users. Banco Masvestas is believed to be the world’s first bank to use Bitcoin as an international payments standard, similar to the SWIFT clearing network.
An informational page about the new service on Masvestas’s website explained that “the service allows you to reduce costs associated with international transfers as there are no international banks [serving] as intermediaries.” (Translated quote.)
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The initiative was reportedly inspired by the bank’s desire to build up its digital services and to lower costs. Masventas’ principle shareholder, Jose Dakak, added that the partnership is also intended to serve the bank’s international customers: “one of the actions was to contract Bitex as a strategic partner in the implementation of the Bitex platform for payments and collections operations for our clients abroad.”
The Customer “Doesn’t See the Bitcoin”
Dakak continued by saying that customers won’t even necessarily know that Bitcoin will be involved in their international transactions at all. “The customers will ask the bank to do an international payment, and the bank uses Bitex as a provider,” he said. “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.”
His vision echoes the sentiments put forth by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee in an exclusive interview with Finance Magnates last week. Lee described his vision for the future of crypto as “a future where people don’t even have to know that they’re using cryptocurrency. They’ll just be sending payments [through a platform] to another person or to a merchant.”
Argentina’s blockchain and crypto industries have been steadily growing–the Argentinian government has been relatively welcoming to the new technology relative to some neighboring countries.
Earlier this year, Argentinian authorities amended legislation, allowing the development of plans to install 4000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country.