Uala, an Argentine unicorn, launches cryptocurrency trading as the country struggles with inflation
The Buenos Aires-based neobank Uala has begun to roll out cryptocurrency trading in Argentina, with the feature already available to a select group of customers.
Customers can buy and sell bitcoin and ether through the fintech’s app, and the feature will be made available to those who sign up for a waiting list. Uala has over 4.5 million users in Argentina and its app is also available in Colombia and Mexico.
“For a long time our users have asked us for the possibility of investing in crypto in addition to pesos through the Uala app,” Uala Vice President of Wealth Management Andres Rodriguez Ledermann said in a statement. “We will continue working for financial education and access to different alternatives for investment in a simple and digital way.”
With yearly inflation in Argentina approaching 100%, residents have begun resorting to alternative currencies like as stablecoins and crypto-based credit cards for purchases in order to save more efficiently. Uala’s statement is notable in part because banks in Argentina have had a difficult time allowing consumers to trade in cryptocurrency.
Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) barred financial institutions from offering cryptocurrency activities in May, only days after large private bank Banco Galicia and all-digital Brubank announced plans to offer cryptocurrency trading.
Uala stated that the crypto trading option will be available in its app by asking users to open an account with Uanex, a company within Uala’s ecosystem.
The fintech unicorn most recently raised $350 million in a Series D round led by Tencent and SoftBank Latin America Ventures in August 2021. The round increased the company’s valuation to $2.45 billion.