Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have the strongest potential to help all people worldwide, especially those living in emerging countries. Unlike in the United States, many citizens around the world are living in regimes where their local currencies are regularly being devalued directly through local economic policy.
Venezuela has the highest inflation rate in the world, although many other countries within Latin America are also experiencing extreme currency devaluation challenges as we speak.
Many of the major currencies including the Argentine Peso, Brazilian Real, Mexican Peso, Colombian Peso, etc. are declining greatly compared to the USD. Inflation in Argentina is currently at an alarming 47% which is threatening to rise even more expensive despite emergency measures taken by the government. Higher inflation leads to falling real income which makes everything more expensive, including all of the basic necessities people need (food, water, shelter, etc).
Given this as a backdrop, I had the chance to meet Ubanx —the very first API banking infrastructure for fiat-crypto exchange in Argentina, Brazil and many other countries in Latin America — with the mission to build financial tools for citizens across the region
Even though peer to peer exchanges like Local Bitcoins have been seeing record trading volumes in countries within the Latin American region, there are still no legitimate fiat on-boarding ramps into the blockchain ecosystem in the region. Unless you have a USD checking account it’s very hard to even open an account with the existing exchanges worldwide — and even then none of the incumbent exchanges have operations there yet.
Here at Proof of Capital, we believe that the strongest use-cases for adoption will come from emerging economies first, where the challenges are much more acutely felt. We also believe that exchanges (both fiat and crypto) are one of the core centers of gravity in the blockchain space. The top exchanges have proved to be real value-generating businesses and are the key on-boarding ramp for new people to enter the blockchain world.
Pablo Orlando has also been a serial entrepreneur and founder of Bluesmart (backed by YCombinator and acquired by TravelPro), GoodPeople and Avenida (Amazon of Argentina and raised over $52M to from Naspers and Tiger Global). On top of this, Pablo and his family are veteran exchange operators who own and operate the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange for the past 30+ years.
Mary Saracco was a former investment manager at the World Bank and was on the early team of Zeppelin solutions where she worked closely with the teams of Brave, OmiseGo, BitGo, Augur, Shapeshift, and others. She also led the first blockchain program at the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Collectively, Pablo and Mary have strong operating backgrounds across both traditional finance and the blockchain space. More importantly, they are authentic, talented, and mission-oriented founders working on very meaningful challenges for their countries.
We are excited to join Pablo, Mary, and the whole Ubanx team on their journey to onboard all of Latin America onto the blockchain ecosystem.