As the largest cryptocurrency company in Latin America, Blockchain.com’s LatAm’s Crypto Boom blog series delves into ways countries across LatAm are utilizing cryptocurrency.
Countries leverage cryptocurrency to thrive in conditions of heightened inflation and accelerate financial inclusion for over 200 million unbanked individuals across the region.
First up in this series is Guatemala. Once the core of Mayan civilization, today Guatemala boasts a population of 18 million and is home to Central America’s largest city, Guatemala City.
Despite having the largest economy in Central America, over 50% of the population are unbanked and the country’s income distribution ranks are among the most unequal in the world.
We spoke with local crypto enthusiasts, business owners, and educators about the ways that cryptocurrency is being used to create new financial opportunities for Guatemalan citizens.
Local innovators and entrepreneurs
The crypto ecosystem is powered by innovation and Guatemalan tech start-up IBEX has made its mark on the LatAm scene by developing a transactional solution for merchants to accept bitcoin payments.
Across the border in El Salvador, IBEX has already become the official bitcoin payment partner of Starbucks El Salvador and other clients including Dominos, Wendys, and KFC.
El Salvador bitcoin sticker in Starbucks Credit: Stephen Delorme
Based in Guatemala City, IBEX Chief Technology Officer Rafa Cordon explains,
“while our biggest Central American market is El Salvador, we also have a number of Guatemala-based clients, including the microbrewery Cervecería San Roque.”
“We believe there…