Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of Latin America’s most relevant crypto and economic news during the last week. In this issue: El Salvador launches a pilot to add Bitcoin content to school curriculums, Bitso announces a partnership with Despegar in a cashout program, and Uruguay and Argentina revamp a bilateral local currency-based payment system.
El Salvador Launches Pilot to Take Bitcoin Content to School Curriculums
The Ministry of Education of El Salvador has partnered with Mi Primer Bitcoin (MPB), a nonprofit dedicated to educating Salvadorans about Bitcoin, to organize a pilot program to introduce Bitcoin courses into school curriculums.
The pilot was announced this week when Mi Primer Bitcoin stated that the organization would teach 150 teachers of 75 public schools about Bitcoin. Then, these teachers will return to their schools to impart courses about the virtues and usage of the first cryptocurrency.
John Dennehy, the founder of MPB, confirmed that if the pilot is successful, it could be extended to all the schools in the country in 2024. Furthermore, Dennehy stated that the organization was looking to expand to other nations, having conversations with the governments of two countries in Latam on this subject.
Bitso Partners With Despegar in Argentina
Bitso, a Mexico-based, Latam-focused cryptocurrency exchange, has recently revealed it has partnered with online travel agency Despegar to implement a point-to-crypto cashout program in Argentina. Despegar Passport will allow travel agency customers to exchange their loyalty points for cryptocurrency assets.
In this first phase, the program will let users exchange between 100 and 5000 of their reward points for Bitcoin or Ethereum daily. Despegar reinforced the intention of introducing these innovations to broaden the reach of these technologies in Latam.
Paula Cristi, Despegar Country Manager Despegar for Argentina and Uruguay, declared:
Now the more than 1.4 million members of the Despegar Passport program in Argentina, who have more than 100 active points, will be able to redeem them for a digital asset.
Argentina and Uruguay Revamp Local Currency Cross-Border Payment System
The central banks of Argentina and Uruguay agreed to extend the uses of the SML, a cross-border, local currency-focused bilateral payment system. While the system was already launched some time ago, it was seldom used. Diego Labat, president of the Central Bank of Uruguay, detailed the changes made to the system’s rules. He stated:
The main change in the system is that we are now including payments for services -except for financial ones.
Labat stressed the system allowed companies to issue invoices in the two local currencies. Miguel Pesce, president of the Central Bank of Argentina, detailed that this system would benefit companies, reducing their transaction costs by avoiding the fees and losses associated with using a third-party currency.
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