In Latin America, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have a level of adoption that varies by country. In this sense, Argentina and Venezuela are among those leading the ranking, but other nations like Paraguay show increasing levels of acceptance as well. An expert on the subject spoke with CriptoNoticias to explain the current panorama in more detail.
During an interview conducted at the Crypto Summit del Sur in Ciudad del Este, Álvaro Rodríguez, CEO of the exchange Satochipa He says that “since November 2020 there has been an exponential growth in the number of people who became interested in this.” The motives, in his vision, have to do with the bull market of bitcoin by the end of that year and the impulse of digital businesses that the Covid-19 pandemic generated.
Unlike other countries, inflation is not a ghost that terrorizes the Paraguayan population. Explained in the words of a local, «here there is no need to run away from the guaraní because it is a super stable currency and one of the oldest in the region. All my life I have seen the price of the dollar in the same range, between 5,000 and 7,000 guaraníes.
“I see in the Argentine market what Paraguay would be in the future, but I don’t see it anywhere near that yet”, details one of those responsible for Satochipa, founded in 2019 – although it had been operating since 2017 – and recognized by the community as a reference in its activity.
Historically, the exchange of cryptocurrencies in Paraguay has occurred mainly through cash, details the entrepreneur. Regarding adoption, he comments that “there are even bars and clubs that have begun to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method.” The same was reported by CriptoNoticias in June 2021; more precisely, at least 24 locals joined.
In what the market has changed, he explains, is in the type of platforms used. Before, LocalBitcoins were used to buy with the local currency, but since Binance P2P arrived in the country, it was the preferred option. This is because the option of using stablecoins or stable cryptocurrencies was added, and this constituted an escape route from volatility and increased efficiency when taking profits.
Paraguayan preferences and regulation in the country
When choosing which cryptocurrency to buy, the Paraguayan public asks for advice, Álvaro says. “People expect to buy a cheap currency, like Shiba Inu (SHIB), and sell it very expensive.”
But nevertheless, Satochipa recommends always opting for bitcoin (BTC) “Because it is the one that moves everything.” “We don’t like to recommend currencies that might go up or might go down. In any case, then you do your research and buy what you want ”, adds the entrepreneur.
Regarding regulation, he explains that what would be needed to promote greater adoption is the application of a mandatory KYC (“Know your customer” in Spanish) for all those who transact with bitcoin and that the responsibility of detecting suspicious customers falls directly on the regulators, and not on the exchanges, as is the practice today.
In Paraguay there was recently a regulatory attempt that ended in nothingness, at least for now. At that time, Álvaro details, he went from an idea of legalizing bitcoin as did Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, to threatening to regulate everything and fine those who operate without a license. The project was not original nor did it favor the sector, he adds.
A movement that gains strength in Paraguay
Satochipa participated in the Crypto Summit del Sur, a conference organized by the Paraguayan Association of Blockchain that brought together various actors of the ecosystem in Ciudad del Este on December 7, as reported from the CriptoNoticias site.
Regarding his opinion of the call for the meeting, Álvaro says that «compared to other events, this is much better. People came here from all over the country and many are in mining. I found many clients that I never saw their faces and here I met them.
Finally, he says that “a lot of people came from outside and there are many very interesting things”, such as his dialogue with Paxful to start operating together.