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Colombia Gets First Local Bitcoin Exchange

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:43 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:43 PM

Until now, Colombians have had to rely on foreign services and exchanges in order to buy and sell Bitcoins. The problematic nature of this was illustrated best by the failure of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox many moons ago. Regardless of whether you trust a foreign exchange are not, in the event that you lose your money, your options for recuperation are limited.

Enter CriptoBanco, a trading platform launched by Merkabahnk  with the help of Mimetic Markets. It has a wallet hosted by the world leader in cryptocurrency security, BitGo, who, as we recently reported, now offers the additional security of insurance to its clients in the unlikely event of catastrophic failure.

CriptoBanco believes that the world banking cartels and government monopolies on money are due largely to a lack of options at the consumer level. To this end, a recent post on their website reads:

World governments need not have the monopoly of violence to establish a monopoly over money, that monopoly money is given voluntarily to them by the “citizens” under his rule. It is because of that modern tacit assumption, that there should be no more than a single dominant currency in each country, and that currencies should be only controlled by governments. Citizens automatically assume that their governments should monopolize the supply of money, and cede this power willingly, without being blackmailed by the threat of violence. Once the government has control over the money, then you can set monopolistic control over violence. To create money, to run deficits, and armies are built to repress the people if they disagree.

Trading at CriptoBanco

Registration is smooth and fast – enter your e-mail address and a password, and you’re already near done. To use the platform, you’ll have to give up the usual details, similar to what you must do at CoinBase or any of the other firms commonly accepted as legitimate. This is seen as important for the security of the other users as much as it is a way of staying friendly with governments and not getting quickly shut down.


CriptoBanco was able to get off the ground quickly, and this had a lot to do with its using software licensed from trusted professionals, as well as not trying to re-invent the wheel as far as its wallet software went. Said Will O’Brien, CEO of wallet provider BitGo:

“Today represents the first time a Bitcoin enterprise has launched using only off the shelf APIs for its primary operating infrastructure and security. The speed with which CriptoBanco was able to launch operations under the protection of world-class security is a game-changing event in both established markets as well as markets struggling with a lack of financial infrastructure.”

CriptoBanco also believes that simply creating cyrptocurrency versions of traditional financial products would not fully capitalize on the power of Bitcoin, a refreshing stance on their role, indeed. To this end, they say:

The CriptoBanco platform allows anyone to become an economic actor, where they can establish and transfer property rights, especially as they acquire entrepreneurial tools and skills and eventually become business owners. To get from here to the future, they will cater services that are not simply bitcoin versions of existing financial products, but are disruptive systems that solve problems that could not be solved until the advent of Blockchain Technology.

With the ease of setting up an exchange created by companies like Mimetic Markets, more exchanges will in the future be popping up everywhere, serving niche needs and covering under-served, “under-banked” areas. Bitcoin exchanges will become a many-headed hydra rather than a centralized beast, easily brought under control of this or that local government.