Many governments, banks and other institutions shy away from Bitcoin-related businesses, for a number of reasons ranging from a fear of displacement to money-laundering concerns. However, the pioneering cryptocurrency has found favour in some forward-thinking banks, the Isle of Man and now Chile.
The Chilean government has made a grant of $40,000 to SurBTC, a local Bitcoin exchange, to support its efforts to bring digital currencies to the Chilean market. With an awareness of past currency instability in Chile and wider South America, this show of faith in cryptocurrency can be viewed as an experiment with alternatives to traditional monetary policy, as well as a way to encourage local tech innovation.
SurBTC’s CEO, Guillermo Torrealba, told news organisations at the company’s launch that six banks rejected their applications to open accounts before they found a bank that would work with them. This distrust from banks is all too familiar to me, having worked with a Bitcoin exchange to open bank accounts in Europe and Asia. Knowing the struggles that they must have gone through to reach this point, I am happy to see SurBTC getting the support that it needs from the government and their partner bank.
It is fitting that the Chilean government would take this pro-business stance, as the country is one of the easiest places in South America to start a business. As long as there is a local operation and a resident director, a company can be incorporated within six weeks with no minimum investment and full foreign ownership. Another plus to doing business in Chile is that it is the least corrupt country in Latin America.
If this story of the Government’s embrace of innovation has led you to consider expanding your business to Chile, contact us or read our page on how to start a company in Chile to learn more about investing in the country.
Follow this page to read more about SurBTC’s government grant.