Colombia’s largest bank launches crypto exchange and peso-pegged stablecoin

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Bancolombia launches crypto exchange and peso-pegged stablecoin
  • Bancolombia launches Wenia crypto exchange and COPW stablecoin in Colombia.
  • The new crypto exchange aims to onboard 60,000 users in 1st year to compete with Binance and Bitso.
  • Wenia is registered in Bermuda and will operate independently from other Bancolombia Group entities.

Bancolombia, the largest bank in Colombia, has made a significant foray into the world of cryptocurrencies with the launch of its own crypto exchange named Wenia.

This move comes after nearly a decade of thorough study and research by the banking giant.

Wemia crypto exchange

Wenia aims to establish itself as a prominent player in the crypto market, competing with established platforms like Binance and Bitso. The exchange is set to onboard 60,000 users within its inaugural year of operation.

Wenia will facilitate the trading of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), and Polygon’s MATIC.

However, access to the platform is limited to Colombian nationals residing in the country.

Wenia is registered outside Colombia

Despite the optimism surrounding the launch, Bancolombia has issued a cautious note to traders regarding the risks associated with trading digital assets.

The bank emphasized that listed crypto assets are not securities and are not backed by any government. Moreover, they pointed out the inherent risks such as volatility and potential price loss.

Bancolombia further clarified that no entity within the Bancolombia Group will be exposed to digital assets.

In a noteworthy detail, it was revealed through a LinkedIn post by a legal professional that Wenia operates as an independent entity registered outside Colombia, specifically in “Las Bermudas.” Consequently, any disputes or claims related to the exchange will be under the jurisdiction of Bermuda’s laws, with resolution sought through Wenia rather than Bancolombia.

The COPW stablecoin

Alongside the newly launched cryptocurrency exchange, Bancolombia has introduced a stablecoin called “COPW,” which is pegged to the Colombian peso.

The introduction of the COPW stablecoin serves as an onboarding solution for users of the exchange.

Juan Carlos Mora, the president of Bancolombia, has expressed the bank’s commitment to fostering the adoption and utilization of digital assets and blockchain technology. In an interview with Forbes, the president highlighted the extensive efforts undertaken by Bancolombia over the past decade to develop the Wenia platform.

Colombia currently ranks third among Latin American countries in terms of crypto adoption, according to the 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index from Chainalysis. This underscores the potential market demand and relevance for Bancolombia’s venture into the crypto sector.


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