In order to make Bitcoin more accessible for everyday people around the world, we need more local Bitcoin exchange platforms. Especially when it comes to countries that could benefit the most from digital currency, on continents such as South America and Africa, Bitcoin could have a major impact on people’s lives. SurBTC is a new South American Bitcoin exchange that has received funding from the Chilean government.
South America & Bitcoin
Let’s be honest here for a minute, Bitcoin is struggling to gain more adoption in the Western world because we have so many payment options at our disposal. Merchants will just go with whichever option is most convenient and can bring in the most customers, regardless of the fees attached to that payment method.
But in certain parts of the world, or to be more precise, South America in this instance, the financial infrastructure is failing and people welcome any opportunity to cut ties with banks and government-issued funds. Countries such as Argentina – known for its massive inflation and very strict capital controls – and Chile are just a few of those examples.
And let it be Chile that is focusing a lot of effort into bringing Bitcoin to the masses, as can be seen in the form of Bitcoin startup SurBTC. This company is Chile’s very first Bitcoin exchange platform and what makes it even more spectacular is the fact it has received funding from the Chilean government.
SurBTC: Safe way to Acquire Digital Currency
As Chileans get more and more interested in the ideas and potential of digital currencies, there are also some risks attached to it. Without an official exchange, moving fiat currency in and out of Bitcoin can prove to be tedious task and even though you could initiate a real-life peer-to-peer transfer, it’s not exactly the safest way of buying and selling Bitcoin either.
With over 200 members in the Santiago, Chile Bitcoin Meetup group, the digital currency community in Chile is relatively small compared to other countries. But that doesn’t mean that Chile can’t become one of the frontrunners for Bitcoin adoption in South America, as there are multiple retailers accepting Bitcoin as a payment method as well.
SurBTC – which means “Bitcoin South – is the country’s first Bitcoin exchange, and hopes to provide a safer and more convenient way for Chileans to buy and sell Bitcoin. The platform is compliant with all regulations and has secured strong banking relations, which is not an easy feat for any Bitcoin company, and certainly not in South America. After a handful of rejections, SurBTC finally found a banking partner willing to work with a Bitcoin-related startup.
“For this technology to fulfill its promise to transform the way that much of global finance operates, you must first fill it with responsible companies that offer products and services that not only seek returns, but which will help to develop this emerging industry. We are interpreting this ‘responsibility’, offering a very transparent, secure exchange and open to other entrepreneurs to connect and develop their own solutions. This is the only way that people can forget the scams that have been.” – SurBTC CEO & Co-Founder Guillermo Torrealba
But the most interesting aspect of this exchange is the funding received by the Chilean government in the form of US$40,000. This amount has been given to them equity-free, as it is part of one of the state’s startup initiatives. Considering this is the first time the Chilean government has ever given money to a Bitcoin company, it can be seen as a “nod of approval”.
Source: Press Release via Email
All images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub and SurBTC