Leading Colombian bank launches crypto exchange and peso stablecoin

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Colombia’s largest bank, Bancolombia Group, entered the crypto business by launching its crypto exchange, Wenia. The crypto platform aims to on-board 60,000 users in its first year and compete with Binance and Bitso.

Along with a crypto exchange, the Colombian bank also launched a peso stablecoin called COPW pegged at 1:1 parity with the Colombian peso.

The stablecoin will act as an onboarding solution for users on the exchange. Apart from the COPW stablecoin, Weina will allow trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), and Polygon (MATIC). To access Weina, traders must be Colombian nationals residing in the country.

The banking giant aims to consolidate the high usage of cryptocurrency in Colombia by catering to both amateur and experienced crypto traders through its crypto platform.

Colombia ranks third among Latin American countries in terms of the highest adoption of crypto assets, as per the 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index.

Source: Chainalysis

In an interview with Forbes, Juan Carlos Mora, president of Bancolombia Group, said they have been working for almost a decade to create the crypto platform that “facilitates the adoption and use of digital assets and blockchain technology.”

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The official announcement from the Bancolombia Group also cautioned traders about the risks associated with trading digital assets. The bank said the listed crypto assets are not securities or backed by any government.

“They are not protected by deposit insurance and have associated risks such as volatility and price loss of the digital asset. It should be noted that no entity of the Bancolombia Group will be exposed to digital assets,” Bancolombia explained.

A lawyer on a LinkedIn post said that Weina is an independent entity registered outside the country in “Las Bermudas” and is subject to the legislation of that country. Any dispute or claim will be directly with Wenia (not Bancolombia) before the courts of Bermuda.

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