Argentina-based e-commerce company Avalancha has announced it will now accept bitcoin through a new strategic partnership with bitcoin merchant processor BitPagos and Latin America-focused bitcoin exchange Bitex.la.
, which launched in May, aims to provide Argentinian consumers with a convenient buying option for electronics and home appliances, and it sees bitcoin as a key investment that will help it better serve its growing customer base.
Miguel Klurfan, CEO of Avalancha, told CoinDesk his company is focused on giving online shoppers a greater degree of convenience, and that Argentina's credit card processors simply add too much friction to the buying process.
Klurfan went on to express his hope that Avalancha's decision will be as beneficial to bitcoin, which has grown increasingly popular in the region amid concerns about the country's financial status.
"For Argentinians that may be hesitant about bitcoin, hearing the news that you can buy a refrigerator with bitcoin will encourage them to increase the adoption of the currency," Klurfan noted.
Avalancha has earned $10m pesos in revenue since its launch, with the goal of earning $25m pesos by the year's end.
Inside the partnership
As part of the deal, Avalancha will use BitPagos as its payment processor, providing bitcoin users in South America with the ability to purchase a wide range of goods with bitcoin from major brands that include Nintendo, Samsung, Whirlpool and more. Bitex.la's role will be to help sell some of the bitcoins Avalancha receives for US dollars at the company's request.
Members of Bitex.la and BitPagos say that Avalancha sees bitcoin as a payment tool that will help encourage consumer spending, and one that positions the company for long-term growth.
Klurfan was also optimistic about his selection of partners and their enthusiasm for the project, saying:
BitPagos raised $600,000 earlier this year from investors including bitcoin hedge fund Pantera Capital, Bitcoin Investment Trust CEO Barry Silbert and Silk Road auction winner Tim Draper. Likewise, Bitex.la launched in May with a $2m investment to provide bitcoin exchanges services to Latin American markets.
Christian Nubis, chief product officer at Bitex.la, explained that the move benefits Avalancha by providing the company with a compelling way to attract new consumers, explaining:
Fran Buero, the company's chief operating officer, elaborated further, suggesting that the partnership will allow Avalancha to receive money faster than if it waited for credit card payment, while protecting the company from inflation.
Argentinian consumers have been said to be turning to bitcoin as a solution to inflation in recent years, although figures for adoption in the country aren't widely known.
Ready to spend
However, given that many Argentina-based bitcoin consumers are using bitcoin as a way to guard against inflation, it remains to be seen whether they would be comfortable spending it given the opportunity.
Klurfan, however, is optimistic about the new initiative, dismissing suggestions that Argentina's consumers might be seeking to simply preserve value in bitcoin, saying:
Nubis suggested that this concern may be unwarranted. Bitcoin, he asserts, will actually provide a powerful incentive for spending by making it easier for consumers to tap wealth that may be stored outside of Argentina:
He added: "We think a lot of people are going to find bitcoin a more convenient way of buying electronics and home appliances."
Image via Avalancha
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