September 17, 2019 / 4:13 PM / 3 months ago

Huobi announces launch of cryptocurrency exchange in Argentina

(Reuters) - Huobi Group, which runs one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced on Tuesday the official launch of a digital asset exchange in Argentina.

Huobi Argentina plans to establish a local team and a fiat gateway to trade or convert the Argentine peso to cryptocurrency, the company said in a statement.

While users can currently purchase cryptocurrencies with the Argentine peso through Huobi’s over-the-counter service, Huobi Argentina will soon introduce a fiat gateway, estimated to launch around mid-October this year, said Huobi, which was founded in China but headquartered in Singapore.

With the Argentine peso gateway, users will be able to easily purchase cryptocurrencies via credit card, wire transfer, and through some of the most widely supported digital payment providers in the region such as Mercadopago.

Crisis-hit emerging market countries such as Argentina that are constantly dealing with persistent concerns about fiat currency devaluation are increasingly turning to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, market observers said. Bitcoin recently reached a new all-time high against the Argentine peso due to inflation.

“Argentina is South America’s most promising market for blockchain development,” said Carlos Banfi, chief executive officer at Huobi Argentina, in a statement.

“There already exists a general consensus to break from a reliance on the local currency and banks, and with Huobi’s entrance into the market, it is a great opportunity to move the needle on blockchain and crypto adoption in Argentina,” he added.

Blockchain, which first emerged as the system powering the digital currency bitcoin, is a shared database maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet.

In March, Huobi founder and CEO Leon Li met with a delegation of senior Argentinian finance officials to discuss the role blockchain could play in Argentina’s economic development, the company said.

“The increasing demand for crypto-related products and services makes Argentina a perfect entry point for Huobi to pursue larger projects in promoting cryptocurrency and blockchain to the market,” said David Chen, senior business director at Huobi Cloud.

Huobi Cloud is a technical solution provider that enables partners to build secure and stable crypto-to-crypto trading.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Chris Reese

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