Argentina’s Largest Private Bank Launches Crypto Trading Feature

Banco Galicia now allows users to buy bitcoin, ether, USDC and XRP.

May 2, 2022 at 4:54 p.m. UTC
Updated May 2, 2022 at 8:01 p.m. UTC

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

Banco Galicia, the largest Argentinian private bank by market value, has added the option to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform, the company confirmed Monday.

  • The bank added a feature in the investment section of its app for users to acquire bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), USDC and XRP, telling its customers that it is a new tool. CoinDesk verified this by logging onto the platform.
  • It's the latest tie-up between financial incumbents and service providers looking to bring crypto to the masses – be it PayPal tapping Paxos or NYDIG working with U.S. credit unions.
  • Banco Galicia's service is operated in partnership with Lirium, a Liechtenstein-based crypto product for digital wallets and mobile banking apps, CoinDesk confirmed.
  • When a user asked the bank on Twitter if the service was available, Banco Galicia said yes and added that it was adding new investment options.
  • Banco Galicia is offering its users the ability to buy and sell crypto, but does not allow them to withdraw or send crypto, Lirium COO Martin Kopacz told CoinDesk, adding that the bank also offers a custody feature. Banco Galicia plans to roll out the service to all of its customers by mid-May, Kopacz noted.
  • To offer the crypto trading and custody service, Lirium worked with OSL, a Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform that began operating in Latin America last October.
  • Lirium is also working with four Argentinian financial institutions that plan to launch a crypto trading service, Kopacz said, without disclosing dates. In addition, Lirium is working on similar integrations in Brazil and Mexico, according to Kopacz.
  • Banco Galicia belongs to Grupo Financiero Galicia, which is listed on the Buenos Aires stock exchange and on Nasdaq under the ticker GGAL.

UPDATE (May 2, 19:59 UTC): Added comments and information from Lirium COO Martin Kopacz.

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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.

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

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