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Discover Latin America

by Michael Wurzinger – Co-Founder of La Conexion

When you think about interesting markets for your Crypto startup, the default answer might be Asia or the United States. However, when you take a look at some statistics, you will notice that the percentage of Crypto usability and Blockchain application is way above average in a complete different area: Latin America. Why is that? Many nations’ currencies have struggled over the past years – especially Venezuela suffers extreme inflation which makes the Bolivar basically worthless. But also large economies like Argentina, Brazil or Colombia face similar challenges.

High Demand for Crypto Usability

A major difference between Latin America and the rest of the world is that the demand to use cryptocurrencies in order to send funds efficiently and in a reliable manner is very high.

This phenomen is not a recent one: This analysis evaluates the economical situation and gives an outlook to the positive growth for the 600 Million economy Latin America. These numbers further improve as the overall infrastructure, such as Internet Accessibility and Smartphone Penetration, grows exponentially. We therefore focus on this vibrant area as the Top emerging economy worldwide to be the next big market for Crypto mass adoption. A recent report Statista further validates this trend by illustrating the general knowledge of the average citizens in Latin America. Brazil and Colombia both rank among the TOP 5 Markets.

Latin America vs. South East Asia vs. Africa

Another interesting aspect that many times is not being considered is the connectivity among nations. The Latin culture is very open-inded compared to a rather conservative and sceptic approach towards innovative technologies in Europe, for instance.

The overall economy is growing rapidly and with a population of more than 600 Million, Latin America is a bigger market than Europe or the United States. In addition, low competition opens great possibilities compared to saturated markets such as China. The final push for Latin America to gain global attractiveness comes with connectivity of all Blockchain communities. Government backed Innovation Centers like Ruta N in Colombia or Startup Chile aggressively open Latin America up to the World by attracting foreign Investments and Startups to get established in the region. The strong support by local authorities further strengthens the infrastructure and enables better accessibility to capital and ressources.

Where do I get started and what is important to know?

Entering a new market requires a clear and thoughtful strategy. With our Experience and Network in the blockchain space, we are more than happy to help you gain traction and find exactly what you need to bring your project to the next level.

Just contact us on michael@la-conexion.com and we will get back to you.

Connecting Latin America and Asia through innovation and technology

by Dario Salameda – Co-Founder of LA Conexion

While there has been a significant increase in investment and trade relations between Asia, especially China, and Latin America over the last two decades; this increase has been in the commodities and service industries, these very traditional industries are about to be disrupted by new and emerging trends and the growth is forecasted to slow down as countries in Latin America and Asia realize that resource and service dependent economies are not the way forward but rather a relic of the past. Global economic trends a US foreign policy of exclusionism spur a spirit of innovation and collaboration between Asia and Latin America.

The need to adapt and change is notable and well known in Asia, but Latin America too is rapidly evolving and prioritizing innovation, new technologies and education and research. Hence, more than 20% of GDP across Latin America is now being invested in innovation and research and development. In the last 2 years the number of government-funded incubators has risen exponentially, and new policies are designed to encourage innovation in the private sector. In conjunction with the regional development the bilateral development between the two regions has taken a similar trend in that action plans are now prioritizing innovation and industrial capacity (China – Brazil 2015-2022).

The 2015 “1+3+6 Cooperation Framework” is reflecting similar ambitions: one plan –the China-CELAC Cooperation Plan; three engines – trade, investment and financial cooperation; 6 sectors – information technology, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, S&T. With the framework expiring in 2019 we expect it to be renewed with strong focus on 4.0 Technologies such as 5G, Blockchain, IoT and AI. Especially as failed infrastructure and resource heavy investments in the past have soured the relationship in these sectors (eg. Nicaragua’s Canal), the fast-growing technology and information technology sector offers a new way of collaborating not only in regard to investment but more so in regard to partnerships and for private businesses to partake. With leaders in local and federal governments in Latin America and Asia supporting events and companies like La Conexion who are active fueling and facilitating these efforts and new growth strategies.

Blockchain has an untapped potential in Latin America, the region could gain far more with this technology

by Juan Ibagon – Co-Founder of La Conexion

During the last 50-70 years, the region has been unstable and many citizens were forced to find different ways to protect their wealth and savings. After the boom of 2017, cryptocurrencies saw a wide-spread adaption, and this technology appeared to offer an alternative to national currencies and a way to fight inflation, especially in cases like Argentina and Venezuela.

At the same time, more than half of the region’s population remains unbanked, lacking basic financial services such as digital payments, money transfers, consumer lending and individual investing.

With the dawn of the fintech sector in LatAm, blockchain-based fintech companies could enter this market and provide real alternatives to 600 Million people, thus increasing financial inclusion. Likewise, new SMEs could use new platforms to enter this market and achieve unimaginable growth.

Besides the potential of inclusion, the technology will allow and give the opportunity to citizens to fight the biggest of the region’s problems: corruption.

Corruption, Latin America’s cancer: Blockchain the solution in the public sector

If Latin America’s national governments used blockchain technology to register transactions, it would ensure transparency and help to prevent misappropriation of funds which is needed for sustainable long-term economic growth.

In a region where politics have threatened property rights, blockchain and decentralized ledgers could protect asset ownership by keeping immutable records.

In voting systems, the technology could make voting more accessible, prevent fraud and allow for audits of election results. Technology such as blockchain with its decentralized and immutable ledger nature could be the key factor to restore the trust in public institutions to achieve a transparent and healthier democracy.

Blockchain for the private sector

In Latin America’s nations, start-ups and companies are implementing blockchain technologies across a variety of industries. Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil are where the crypto and fintech start-ups are rising at unprecedented speed.

Brazilian crypto brokers such as Bitcoin to You and Foxbit manage a large portion of exchanges for the country’s crypto exchange users, while the Mexican exchange Bitso works in a country where 80 million lack access to basic banking services.
Colombia’s private sector, too, is leading the way with early innovative adoption.

Building up more and more momentum for blockchain adoption in Latin America’s private sector could someday reshape industries and redefine services.