WISeKey International Holding, a leading Swiss Cybersecurity and IoT company recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Argentine government to launch a Blockchain Center of Excellence in Buenos Aires.
This has been considered the first step in the massive plan of making Buenos Aires the next location for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Between 2017 and 2018, WISeKey established Blockchain Centers of Excellence in the USA, China, India and Africa. Argentina shall, therefore, serve as the first country in the LATAM region to host a centre.
Argentina boasts an extremely qualified capital, with a working population that is highly skilled in technical matters. It has also admitted to being enthusiastic about the cooperation, stating that it is a clear sign that data centre projects in Argentina possess great potential in the economic and social sectors.
WISeKey has already begun making its presence felt in Argentina. Its first move was to localize Cryptographic Root of Trust (RoT) in the region. RoT basically hands individuals the power to have digital identities. It also ensures devices that are linked to Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are secure.
Some banks in Argentina have departments that exclusively deal with cryptocurrency companies. This is a sharp contrast to neighbouring Chile where all commercial banks closed down all accounts to cryptocurrency companies, basically closing down the industry in the process.
In this respect, a recent hackathon saw the Argentine Central bank award Singatura, a blockchain notarization project ARS $50,000 for placing second for the most innovative project. Singatura offers ‘financial passports’ to consumers, enabling them to share encrypted data using blockchain.
Argentinean entrepreneurs have admitted that blockchain is inspiring them to build business models that are impossible to corrupt, seeing as corruption is a major problem in the region. Additionally, blockchain has been identified as a possible solution to cure economic instability in the area.
Rubert Altman of Rootstock, an open-source smart contract platform expressed his excitement about the potential of blockchain technology, stating that “In the future, it could revolutionize contracts as we know them today“.
Marco Carnut, a Brazilian who works at blockchain provider Tempest Security Intelligence has attributed Latin America’s enthusiasm for blockchain to the regions recurring economic problems. This has made them more open to change.
Banco Masventa (BMV), an Argentine bank recently partnered with local blockchain startup, Bitex. This partnership could potentially lead to Argentina becoming the first country in the world to recognize and use Bitcoin as an international payment standard. The move was inspired by security hitches accompanied by SWIFT, the former international payment medium used by the bank. It will also reduce the cost of international transfer transaction costs substantially, as there will be no international banks playing the role of intermediary.
The country has also made several lucrative legislative changes, leading to operators in the country vowing to install Bitcoin ATM’s across Argentina. The Argentine government is itself using blockchain technology, as was revealed in 2017. It applies decentralized application Opentimestamps to keep records of daily official bulletins.
Rofex, which serves as Argentina’s largest futures market has also admitted to not being left out in the transformation. The market is currently exploring how it can introduce cryptocurrency trading products.
So, owing to the high inflation rates in the country, and past economic struggles like the imploding of the national currency in 1993, Argentina seems to be embracing blockchain technology with open arms. Perhaps the technology could be the answer to the economic problems and bureaucracy that have for the longest time marred Argentina.
Meanwhile, in spite of this, Argentina’s bold moves are definitely being felt, and appreciated, across the blockchain technology community.