OKCoin International, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency/fiat exchange, is setting up in Argentina. This follows its September expansion to 20 additional states in the US.
“A Region with More Smartphones Than Bank Accounts”
Specifically, in exchange for the Argentine peso, the exchange will be able to offer most major cryptocurrencies.
The company says: “It’s a genuinely exciting time for Latin American cryptocurrency investors. This is a region with more smartphones than bank accounts, and its population is eyeing crypto tokens with interest.”
OKCoin International handled $1.2 million in cryptocurrency trading in the last 24 hours according to coinmarketcap.com. Its crypto-to-crypto entity, OKEx, registered $1.6 billion.
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As much as the subsidiary is bigger, however, it is more controversial. In March 2018, a cryptocurrency trader presented fairly convincing evidence that OKEx was fabricating the majority of its trading volumes, an accusation that the exchange denied. In May, the CEO of OKEx resigned without giving a reason.
Don’t Cry for Me
When you think of cryptocurrency and South America, Venezuela is most probably the first place that comes to mind. The state’s economy has collapsed due to government mismanagement, and President Nicolas Maduro decided to create an oil-backed national cryptocurrency, the Petro, to restore faith (as well as to avoid US sanctions).
In August, the fiat currency of the country had become so worthless that Maduro took the drastic step of pegging it to the Petro. More recently, the government decreed that passports can only be purchased with the Petro. In this environment, thousands of merchants accept cryptocurrency, and many people are mining from home – electricity in the country is heavily subsidised.
Binance, OKEx’ main competitor, recently held a meetup in Córdoba. Not to be outdone, it is currently looking for a place to set up in South America too.