How South American Countries Teach People About Crypto

How South American Countries Teach People About Crypto

After El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender, what else can we expect from South America?

Cryptocurrencies provide an alternative financial ecosystem that can change the lives of millions of people. While the Western world has a well-developed financial system — making the need for cryptocurrencies less apparent — many South American countries are known for rampant inflation rates, and people often struggle to make ends meet. These are the regions where crypto can make the most significant impact in the years ahead.

The Current State of Crypto in South American Countries

Contrary to popular belief, not all South American countries see merit in Bitcoin and other crypto-assets. That isn't too surprising, even though the current financial system in most of these countries leaves much to be desired. Regions like Bolivia and Ecuador have officially banned Bitcoin and other crypto-assets since 2014. Although officials made some amendments over the years, there is still unease and uncertainty in these regions surrounding cryptocurrencies.

Other parts of South America appear to have an open mind toward crypto. While this is a positive development, educational efforts will be needed to make a meaningful impact. No other regions in South America officially prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies, although very few seek to endorse it actively. However, that situation changed dramatically in 2021 when El Salvador embraced Bitcoin as a legally accepted currency.

Government officials from Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and Paraguay congratulated El Salvador's regime on taking this bold step. The governments’ public congratulation may have been a reflection of what their populations want, as over 35% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have indicated they plan to use cryptocurrencies more actively. Opposing the people's preferences and demands usually don't work out well, although it remains unclear if any of these countries will openly support Bitcoin and similar assets.

As some South American governments begin to embrace cryptocurrencies, one logical question is left: how can Bitcoin and similar assets operate within a regulatory framework? As regulation of digital assets is still a troublesome point, making progress on that front will prove beneficial, as other governments around the world can use any crypto legislation as an example to follow in their own countries.

Educational Crypto Efforts in South America Today

The first step to bring crypto to the South American masses is by focusing on the educational aspect — do the people know what Bitcoin is? Do they really understand the technology?

Most people are still uncertain as to why crypto matters or what they can use it for. Education on the benefits, risks, and responsibilities is a crucial move in the right direction. Several educational efforts are underway across South America today, each of which embodies a slightly different approach to bring more people into the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem.

One example is the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM. Their introduction of a financial engineering specialization course includes models on crypto and blockchain topics. Of course, it is not just crypto-oriented, as the course focuses on evaluating the profitability of public and private companies, financial strategies, innovative financial instruments and presses, measuring financial risk, and more. However, crypto and blockchain fit into these topics, making them a worthwhile addition to the course.

For Empirex Capital, educational efforts are a first step for people to learn about existing service providers and thus users to explore them.

Created on 30th Sep 2021