All eyes are on Bitso a crypto startup that emerged as Latin America’s first crypto unicorn. It recorded seven funding rounds totaling $314 million by mid-2021. And its valuation topped $2 billion Bitso allows users to trade various coins using pesos. Users can also take advantage of international money transfers.
Claire Diaz-Ortiz, an angel investor focused on Latin America at VC3, says Bitso paved the way for much of the crypto ecosystem in Latin America. It started before mainstream investors grasped the potential for decentralized finance.
Daniel Vogel, the founder of Bitso, sought to fill a hole in Mexico’s banking system in his startup. He highlighted that there was a large number of unbanked citizens with little affordable access to financial mechanisms like money transfers. Bitso has risen as one of the only internationally regulated crypto platforms in Latin America. It offers low-cost remittance options, the ability for migrants to send digital currency back home, and 35 cryptocurrencies to its 4 million users in Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina.
Diaz-Ortiz said if the user works for an overseas company that deposits the salary in a local bank, the dollar will be turned into pesos at about 130 pesos per dollar, then the free market value of 300 pesos or more per dollar. The expert noted that at least two billion people either lack a bank account or don’t have access to a full suite of banking tools. Diaz-Ortiz said most of these people live in countries with economic systems that are nothing like the USA, and could greatly benefit from DeFi solutions.