The Central Bank of Argentina and government representatives have asked the Bitcoin community to join efforts to eradicate financial exclusion, transform the financial industry, promote financial opportunities, and reduce inflation. Officials made their request at the Latin America Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference (laBITconf), on November 5 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Central Bank of Argentina Approaches the Bitcoin Community
Tiziano M. Di Biase coordinates Fintech activities at the Central Bank of Argentina. He participated in the panel “Blockchain and Hackathon” at laBITconf.
During the panel discussion, Di Biase invited entrepreneurs and blockchain developers to take part in a hackathon. His intent was to show the Central Bank of Argentina how Bitcoin and blockchain technology could unleash new solutions to enable financial transformation.
Because blockchain is a very attractive technology with enormous potential, many central banks around the world are scrutinizing it with keen interest. Therefore, said Di Biase, the Central Bank of Argentina could consider blockchain-based proposals in its agenda.
National and City Officials Hopeful on Blockchain
Argentinean government officials also indicated their support for blockchain technology adoption. They asked the Bitcoin and blockchain community to work on their initiatives to exploit innovation, in order to propel economic growth and development.
Silvia Torres Carbonell, Undersecretary of Creative Economy and Innovation of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, participated in the panel “Modernization and Entrepreneurship in Argentina.” She said that in Argentina, until recently, there had been many enterprising initiatives, but few of these initiatives had integrated innovation. However, she remarked, Argentina is now experiencing a transformative and unique moment. Her office is promoting social development through programs such as IncuBate, IncuBA Tech, and IncuBA Social.
According to Torres Carbonell, blockchain — like the internet and artificial intelligence — is a tool that has the potential to democratize all human activities and build a better future for all.
Similarly, Rudi Bormann, Undersecretary of Public Innovation and Open Government, Argentina Presidency, participated in the panel “Modernization and Entrepreneurship in Argentina.”
One of the goals of Bormann’s agency is to encourage innovation in the public sector. His office also leads the Open Data government initiative, which aims to facilitate access to information and improve government transparency.
Bormann remarked that blockchain technology presents many opportunities to improve transparency and fight corruption.
Additionally, Bormann explained that at the G20 in 2016, the Chinese delegation put forward a strategic document that promotes the Digital Economy. Moreover Germany, which will head the group in 2017, plans to focus on digitalization to generate economic growth. In 2018, Argentina will host the G20. Argentina has already endorsed the G20 document on the digital economy.
Therefore the digital economy, Bitcoin, and blockchain will be key G20 topics for the next three years, Bormann said.
Argentinian Financial Challenges
According to the World Bank, over two billion adults worldwide do not have access to banking and financial services.
In Argentina, the unbanked population is significant. As of 2014, the number of unbanked adult Argentinians reached over 15 percent, according to the World Bank report “Universal Financial Access 2020.”
Consequently, the Argentinean government and Central Bank authorities are focusing on finding innovative solutions. They play to achieve greater financial inclusion, transform the financial industry, promote financial opportunities, and reduce the inflation rate.
Financial Innovation Hackathon
Now the Central Bank of Argentina, the Ministry of Production, and the Innovation Ministry are organizing the “Financial Innovation Hackathon.” The event will take place in Buenos Aires on November 18-19, 2016.
The central bank and government agencies are inviting students, professionals, economists, entrepreneurs, and in particular the Bitcoin and blockchain community.
Argentina has significant advantages for achieving fintech innovation. For example, the country has high-level talent with creative potential and the required know-how. Indeed, in Argentina, several prominent startups are already creating amazing Bitcoin and blockchain-based solutions — such as RSK and Signatura.