Colombia’s oldest commercial bank, the Banco de Bogotá, has begun the next stage of a crypto pilot that will allow 5,000 of its customers to make and receive payments using tokens hosted on the platforms of two major crypto exchanges.
As reported, the bank has partnered with the trading platforms Bitso and Buda as part of a crypto sandbox project operated by the Superintendencia Financiera (Financial Superintendence – known as the Superfinanciera for short), one of the nation’s biggest financial regulators.
The first part of the pilot, which began in March this year, saw the group of customers, all aged over 25, allowed to make crypto deposits and withdrawals on the bank’s mobile and desktop platforms. They were allowed to trade crypto for fiat Colombian pesos and vice versa using interfaces that linked to Buda and Bitso’s systems.
But the next phase of the trial will see what happens when the participants try to spend their crypto using the bank’s cards and app platforms.
Semana reported that the Buda interface will be ready sometime this month, while the Bitso platform will be ready in October, and that the new services will allow “cash-in and cash-out” transactions.
This will, in effect, allow users to make real-time payments in fiat using their crypto holdings, and receive real-time fiat payments that are presumably converted to crypto and hosted on the Bitso and Buda exchanges.
The pilot will last for a further year, after which the Superfinanciera will assess the results and report to the government.
The same media outlet quoted Óscar Bernal, the bank’s Vice President of Technology, as stating that “one of its great motivations” was to become an active part of the country’s digital transformation.”
“We think that it is valuable to participate in the construction of a possible regulatory framework that may enable operations with cryptoassets in Colombia.”
Banco de Bogotá was established in 1870 and has some 670 branches throughout the country.