As their country has imposed strict capital controls amid years of double-digit inflation, Argentines have shown a significant interest in Bitcoin.
Enter BitPagos, a payment processor that accepts Bitcoin and is aimed at the Latin American market.
Argentina’s share of the Bitcoin market ballooned over the summer, and by July Argentina was accounting for 3% of all Bitcoin downloads worldwide. However, access to the currency is limited because of international exchange volume controls.
BitPagos may help solve this problem by bringing Bitcoin to the local economy and not make an exchange from the peso necessary. Instead, BitPagos plans to target tourist friendly merchants such as hotels, who can in turn pay suppliers with Bitcoin, thus introducing the currency to the local market without exchanges.
The team has also launched its own booking system for hotel or other property rentals, BitBookings.com, which is in private beta.
BitPagos can also process credit cards, and in fact this still accounts for most of the startup’s business.
BitPagos is working with Cryptocambios, a local Bitcoin exchange in Argentina, for fiat currency swaps.
Argentina has yet to attempt much regulation of Bitcoin itself, but a country in such financial shape is certain to keep an eye on developments.
Meanwhile, BitPagos will continue to try to introduce a new flow of capital into the country of just less than 42 million.
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