The government of Argentina is set to invest in early-stage blockchain startups backed by the venture arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
The country’s Ministry of Production and Labour announced Wednesday that it will match investments of up to $50,000 into every Argentinian blockchain project that receives funding from Binance Labs via the second season of its incubator program, and LatamEX Founders Lab.
The ministry plans to invest in up to 10 blockchain projects each year for a period of four years, and will make the investments through Founder Labs, a local blockchain accelerator.
‘‘Latin America presents one of the most attractive markets for blockchain adoption and real use cases and Argentina is leading the way by serving as the market-opening gateway,’’ said Pablo Orlando, founder and CEO of LatamEx and Founders Lab.
The co-investment contract was signed after Binance Labs selected Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, as one of the hubs for its season two of the incubator program, according to the announcement.
Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs, said in the statement:
While the bear crypto market has hit firms in other regions, CoinDesk recently reported that blockchain and crypto projects in Argentina are booming, thanks to a history of banks restricting customer access and an inflation rate that hit 47 percent in 2018.
“The sector is growing, it’s growing very well. It’s providing a lot of jobs. People are using these technologies for real survival needs and finding themselves in a better world than if they had to trust the government," Santiago Siri, founder of blockchain startup Democracy Earth Foundation and investor in several Argentinian crypto startups, told CoinDesk at the time.
With Argentina plagued by currency crises, the government needs to develop “a stability-seeking strategy that partly includes bitcoin,” wrote Michael J. Casey, chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, last September.
Edit: Added comment from Pablo Orlando.
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