It is no secret that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been making headway across Latin America in recent months. Most of the countries are plagued by hyperinflationary fiat currencies, as well as tight capital controls in terms of moving funds in and out of the region. Just a few weeks ago, the first ever Bitcoin conference was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Strong Focus On Regulation and Financial Aspect of Virtual Currencies
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies could play a major role of importance in Latin America in the near future, once more people have found out what these currencies are about. To be more precise, there are two major points of interest: how will virtual currencies be regulated, and what does the financial aspect of Bitcoin and consorts entail exactly?
Both of these questions were tackled in detail during the first regional conference on virtual currencies, which took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event itself came to be thanks to a collaboration between Pinheiro Neto Advogados – a renowned law firm – and the non-profit organization Bitcoin Latin America.
During this one-day event, a ton of prominent speakers shared their vision and expertise with a more than enthusiastic crowd. Highlights of this conference include the historical analysis of money, leading regulatory practices on a global scale and a technical explanation of Bitcoin and the underlying technology.
Applying local regulation to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is a key factor in the adoption of this new form of money. Several of Brazil’s most established Bitcoin startups were present during various panels. The day ended with a panel on using the blockchain for micro-lending and financial inclusion of unbanked people on this planet.
Another topic of great interest was how virtual currencies and blockchain technology create new jobs around the world, and more specifically, in Latin America. Rather than relying on local governments to boost job creation and stimulate the economy, virtual currency startups take matters into their own hands in this regard.
Last but not least, plenty of time was dedicated to educating attendees on Bitcoin and virtual currencies in general. While establishing a legal framework will help legitimize these virtual currencies, the general population will be responsible for embracing the blockchain technology and developing new platforms for it.
Uniting Bitcoin Enthusiasts, Startups, And Central Banks
There were some notable names on the list of attendees, as no less than three major central banks made their way to Sao Paulo. Santander, Citibank and The World Bank – including the IFC division – were all in attendance for the entire event. Both Santander and Citibank are actively experimenting with blockchain technology behind the scenes at this time.
People who couldn’t make it to Sao Paulo in person enjoyed watching the free live stream, made possible by NGO Bitcoin Argentina and the Buenos Aires city government. Overall, over 200 people attended the event in Brazil, while more than 150 enthusiasts followed the live stream. Both are respectable numbers for an emerging trend in Latin America.
Further events were announced as well, as December 4-5, NGO Bitcoin Latinoamerica will hold their third annual Labitcoinf conference in Mexico. This is the main Bitcoin-themed conference in all of Latin America every year and attracts quite a few enthusiasts, developers, angel investors, and entrepreneurs.
Source: Press release via Email
Images courtesy of Pinheiro Neto Advogados, Shutterstock