Over the past few months, thanks to its performance on the price charts and the institutional interest it is generating, the cryptocurrency market has well and truly become part of the mainstream. While gray areas associated with its legality do exist, the fact that regulators are taking the sector so seriously is evidence of the aforementioned assertion.
The case of Colombia is a case in point. A few weeks after its financial superintendent announced alliances between a number of Colombian banks and digital currency exchanges, the country is in the news again after one of its biggest banks, Banco de Bogotá, revealed that it will be launching its crypto pilot run later this month.
The project, overseen by the country’s Superfinanciera, intends to make Colombia more crypto-accessible. According to reports, Banco de Bogotá will use the pilot to assess the business model and risks associated with crypto-assets. Further,
“In this test, the financial institution will reach a limited group of clients that will be chosen by the Bank and who will be able to make transactions with specific limits.”
Under the same, participating customers will be able to make deposits and withdrawals of crypto-assets through the digital channels of the bank. In fact, they will also be allowed to purchase cryptocurrencies using the fiat holdings in their accounts, without having to use the services of an exchange.
Oscar Bernal Quintero, Vice President of Technology at Banco de Bogotá, welcomed the development in question, commenting,
“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 in the Colombian regulatory framework.”
The aforementioned pilot is just one of the test runs that will soon be underway. While Banco de Bogotá has tie-ups with the likes of Bitso and Buda, others such as Bancolombia will work with Gemini and Davivienda, Powwi will participate with Binance.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Colombia’s regulatory agency has been cautious about implying what the success of the said sandbox program would mean, with the country’s Financial Superintendent going on to say that “the test does not commit the State to the recognition of an activity that is volatile.”