Over the past few months, we’ve seen various Binance activities and movements in Latin America, including assigning dedicated staff in the region to cater to users and their specific needs.
Exactly one of these positions that Binance recently created for the region was that of “Latam Operations Launcher”, a position that Maximiliano Hinz has held for months from Argentina and that has given the exchange a different perspective in Latin America.
To learn a little more about these perspectives Binance is raising in the region, and to learn more about some of the work that is being done in the region, we spoke to Hinz to ask him a number of questions about it.
Ezio Rojas (ER): What do you think Binance can bring to Latin Americans?
Maximiliano Hinz (MH): Binance’s mission is to democratize access to money. In Latin America there are often certain restrictions on how to mobilize capital freely. With Binance everyone can use their money freely.
Since a user is not dependent on a centralized entity, he can purchase cryptocurrencies through Binance and send them anywhere in the world or set fixed conditions in currencies that are tied to the dollar or the euro, which many countries in the region do not have on the squares there is banking.
A security alternative is also provided. People for various reasons sometimes choose to have large sums of money at home. With cryptocurrencies, they can have the same benefits as cash with the security of not having physical money.
(ER): Binance has put a lot of emphasis on the P2P market in the region. Do you think you can be a major player in this sector?
(MH): Without a doubt, P2P is very important to us in Latin America today. It’s a great bet we are making and it enables a lot of people to access the cryptocurrency market. We have seen people set up crypto buying and selling businesses thanks to p2p and many people are asking to send crypto to relatives in other countries. There have been countless cases where cryptocurrencies have changed the lives of Latin Americans for the better and we need to consider how new Bitcoin is (only 12 years since it was launched!). I believe that the future will be crypto without a doubt.
(ER): Do you think Latin Americans are betting on cryptocurrencies?
(MH): Yes. I wouldn’t say that all Latin Americans are betting on the same thing as nominal adoption rates are still low. In any case, the interesting thing is to analyze the growth rate. The story is much better there.
Latin Americans have seen a huge benefit in crypto, which is being the direct owners of their money. At Crypto, we don’t have to rely on governments spending uncontrolled money (which affects the value of fiat currency) or regulators to restrict our transactions. Nobody can tell us in which crypto should be stored or in which countries cryptocurrencies can and cannot be sent. There is also no way for someone to forcibly take part of our coins from us as taxes. This makes crypto attractive in countries where these things are sometimes at risk.
(ER): What are Binance’s priorities in Latin America?
(MH): Today, at Binance, we focus on improving people’s ability to access cryptocurrencies in the easiest possible way and adapting to the requirements of each market.
The other strength we’re working on is enhancing the local experience by creating localized pages for each country. We are also launching Binance social networks in Argentina, which we felt was necessary due to the company’s growth in the country.
The final strong focus is on education. The only way for people to invest in this industry is to know the product and this is achieved through education. In Colombia we run tours through universities and the idea is to repeat this in the rest of Latam. Today we limit ourselves to what the pandemic allows us, but we use digital platforms like YouTube to run webinars designed to cover the full spectrum, from those who don’t know about the ecosystem to advanced trading classes.
(ER): What can Latin Americans expect from Binance in 2021? Can we wait for the Binance Card?
(MH): Lots of news! But we can’t count them before they come out. At Binance, we always strive for the best possible user experience. The only way to do this is through extensive testing. We won’t announce releases until they’re 100% tested. As I said before, the idea is to improve access to cryptocurrencies from all sides in terms of usability and user experience.
The Binance Card depends on the regulations of each market. We want it to be available everywhere, but we know that this type of product has to meet many regulations before launching.
(ER): How do you think quarantine and COVID-19 have changed Latin Americans and their vision of the digital economy?
(MH): I think it helped a lot in introducing digital money. This year, the last time I was out was in March and the pandemic has not yet had any impact on Latin America. However, when I look at the Argentine market, I see the adoption of QR payments or mobile payments increasing in the country. Although every country is different, the overall numbers show that people have started experimenting with electronic payments. Companies also began to use systems like electronic checks. And this helps us all tangentially in the crypto world, since paying with an electronic wallet is not very different between fiat and crypto.