According to a panel discussion on “The Impact of Bitcoin on Commercial Banks” held on November 18 at LaBitConf 2021 in El Salvador, banking executives in the region do not regard Bitcoin as a danger and feel that the two can coexist.
When speaking at the ninth edition of LaBitConf, Leandro Guini, CEO of red SERFINSA, a digital payment processor for banks in El Salvador, indicated that there are advantages for both parties.
The professor explained, “YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE BENEFITS ON BOTH SIDES, IN BANKING AND IN BITCOIN.”
The importance of infrastructure and education cannot be overstated.
Other speakers at the conference were Luis Rodrguez of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE), Carlos Ruge of DaviPlata (which is a subsidiary of the Colombian Davivienda business), and Francisco Montenegro of the Open Bank Project.
According to Rodrguez, the introduction of Bitcoin in the Central American country has resulted in a significant amount of learning. In his words, everything had come down to taking actual measures, one of which is passing explicit legislation, such as the Bitcoin Law in the United States.
The initiative “allows us to look to the future,” says the company, “and there is some interest in what is happening in EL SALVADOR and the surrounding region.”
The acceptance of Bitcoin by the government of El Salvador, according to Guini, represents a “unique potential” in that regard. As a further point, the executive added that SERFINSA is willing and able to provide its infrastructure to facilitate transactions between firms and individuals using Bitcoin wallets such as Chivo or any other, provided that regulatory criteria are adhered to.
Guini went on to say:
THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE ADAPTING DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS BITCOIN AND THE REST OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES TO TRADITIONAL SYSTEMS IS BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN A NEW WORLD [CRYPTOACTIVE] AND ONE THAT ALREADY EXISTS AND HAS ITS WEAKNESSES [BANKS]
They feel that, while everyone believes that Bitcoin acceptance is a great step forward, two critical challenges must be addressed: education on how cryptocurrencies function, and the development of technology infrastructure to support Bitcoin adoption.
Montevideo thinks that infrastructure should include custodial services in addition to AML (Anti-Money Laundering), which refers to the legislative framework established by each country’s government to prevent the illegal transfer of money.
In this regard, Francisco Montenegro of the Open Bank Project suggested that banks should flatten the learning curve in terms of educational attainment rather than creating new ones, and that they should use current solutions rather than developing new ones.