Spanish banking giant Santander is planning to start offering crypto trading services in Brazil in the coming months. Local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on July 28, citing the bank’s CEO, Mario Leao. According to Leao, Santander might introduce crypto trading in its next quarterly results or earlier.
Explaining why the bank has decided to offer crypto services, Leao said,
We recognize that it is a market that is here to stay, and it is not necessarily a reaction to competitors positioning themselves, it is simply a vision that our client has demand for this type of asset, so we have to find the most correct and most educational way to do it
Santander intends to offer digital asset trading services to its retail customers. In doing so, the bank sets itself apart from rivals that only provide crypto trading services to institutional or professional clients.
Santander Is Not a Crypto, Blockchain Newbie
These plans show Santander’s continued efforts to help make crypto and blockchain technologies. The bank first displayed its interest in the Web3 ecosystem in 2019 when it used the Ethereum blockchain to redeem a $20 million bond.
We just performed an early redemption of our blockchain-based bond that we issued on September 10th, 2019. This unequivocally proves that a debt security can be managed through its full lifecycle on a blockchain (public in this case).
Here’re the blockchain transactions:
— John W. |🇮🇪🇺🇸🇪🇸🇪🇺| (@_JohnWhelan) December 10, 2019
The bank also collaborated with Agrotoken to offer Argentine farmers loans collateralized with tokenized commodities like corn and wheat. With this project, the duo seeks to give farmers easy access to a new financing system.
Moreover, the bank teamed up with Oxentia Foundation to launch the Santander X Global | Blockchain and Beyond program. This initiative seeks to find and support promising blockchain startups.
Brazil Proves an Alluring Destination for Crypto-focused Fintechs
Meanwhile, fintech companies are increasingly targeting the Brazilian market with their crypto products. For instance, Brazilian fintech PicPay announced plans to roll out a crypto exchange and a Brazilian real-pegged stablecoin dubbed PicPay.
Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce company in the Latin American region, partnered with Paxos to launch crypto services in Brazil in 2021. The company became the first fintech to make crypto easily accessible to the Brazilian population. Mercado Libre’s crypto platform secured over one million users two months after launching.
Nubank, the largest digital bank in Brazil, also launched a crypto trading platform in partnership with Paxos in May. On July 26, the neobank announced that its platform had already onboarded one million users. Nubank’s achievement proves the Brazilian population is increasingly warming up to cryptocurrencies even as the bear market persists.