Gemini to Allow Crypto Trading in Colombia Under Government-Sponsored Pilot Program

The company plans to offer bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash trading in partnership with local bank Bancolombia starting in December.

Dec 6, 2021 at 6:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 6, 2021 at 8:13 p.m. UTC

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini plans to allow users in Colombia to trade crypto through a partnership with its largest private bank, Bancolombia.

Starting on Dec. 14, Gemini will allow a select group of Bancolombia’s users to trade bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash through an on-and-off-ramp, Cynthia del Pozo García, Gemini’s principal of strategy and corporate development, announced on Monday.

The partnership between Gemini and Bancolombia is part of a year-long, government-sponsored pilot program to test banking services for crypto platforms.

In January, Colombia’s financial watchdog, the Financial Superintendency of Colombia (SFC), announced that it chose nine crypto exchanges (out of 14 applicants) for the project, including Gemini, Binance and the Mexican exchange Bitso.

“The partnership also serves as an important step toward the strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America,” del Pozo García said in a statement and invited other Latin American institutions to explore opportunities in the region.

Bancolombia is a commercial bank belonging to the holding company Grupo Bancolombia, which has operations in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala and El Salvador, and serves 17.8 million users, according to its 2020 report.

Bancolombia is Colombia’s largest bank by assets and Tier 1 capital, according to The Banker.

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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk business reporter based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds no crypto.