Colombia’s largest commercial bank Bancolombia will soon enable its customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies directly from their bank accounts. The bank will seek cooperation from popular US-based crypto exchange Gemini for the new initiative.
The partnership is a one-year pilot program where the bank will offer crypto trading services to a limited number of customers starting December 14th. Meanwhile, Gemini will act as a custodian and provider for relevant infrastructure. Users can trade and hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for now.
The alliance is backed by Colombia’s new regulatory sandbox ‘la Arenera’, a pilot program that promotes innovation in the country’s financial sector by offering certain advantages to new projects and startups.
The country’s financial regulator ‘Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC)’ had chosen nine cryptocurrency exchanges out of 14, including Gemini, Binance, and Bitso, to participate in the program. SFC will also supervise the new alliance.
“The partnership also serves as an important step toward the strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America,” Gemini said in the announcement. “We look forward to working closely with the Colombian crypto ecosystem and to supporting crypto products that empower Colombians to take control of their financial lives.”
Bancolombia, a banking subsidiary under the Bancolombia Group, is the largest bank in Colombia with more than 17.8 million customers and over $275 billion in assets under management.
The Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss brothers, recently closed its first funding round last month after securing more than $400 million in external funding. The round was led by Morgan Creek Digital, with participation from 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners, Marcy Venture Partners, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.