Gemini partners with Colombia’s biggest bank for crypto trading

The partnership will allow Bancolombia customers to trade a number of popular cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, and LTC.

New York-based crypto exchange Gemini has announced that it will be expanding into Latin America through an upcoming partnership with Colombia’s largest bank, Bancolombia.

The partnership will take effect Dec. 14, and will permit customers from Bancolombia to trade 4 crypto assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

A limited number of users will be able to buy crypto directly from their Bancolombia bank accounts through the Gemini exchange, which will provide crypto-specific infrastructure for exchange and custody of assets. It remains unclear whether the users will be able to withdraw the crypto holdings directly from their accounts.

In a Dec. 6 announcement about the partnership, Gemini stated that it “serves as an important step toward the strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America.”

“We believe that crypto can play an important role in the development of Latin America as interest in blockchain and innovative technologies proliferates throughout the region.”

The partnership will run as part of a year-long pilot program run by Colombia’s financial regulator, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC). The regulatory sandbox, “la Arenera” was approved by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in September 2020.

In January, the SFC announced that it had chosen 9 out of fourteen crypto exchanges that applied for the project including Gemini, Binance, and the Mexican exchange Bitso.

Since El Salvador adopted BTC as a legal tender on Sept. 7, Latin America has moved in strides towards mainstream crypto adoption. In Oct., CEO of multicurrency investment platform Uphold JP Thieriot told Cointelegraph that Latin America stands to “benefit the most from crypto.”

Gemini currently operates in over 60 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay in Latin America.

Related: Blockchain.com acquires SeSocio to cement presence in Latin America

Bancolombia operates in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador. According to an internal report from last year, it has 17.8 million users.

In March, Colombia’s oldest bank Banco de Bogotá also announced that it would also be piloting crypto services as part of la Arenera. A year prior in March 2020, Cointelegraph reported that Latin America is the region with the third-largest number of crypto users in the world.

Bancolombia to Offer Crypto Trading in Financial Regulator’s Pilot Program

Bancolombia to Offer Crypto Trading in Colombian Regulator's Pilot Program

Bancolombia, Colombia’s largest bank, will be offering cryptocurrency trading to customers in a pilot program within a regulatory framework established by the country’s financial regulator, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC). Customers of the Colombian bank will be able to trade bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Bancolombia to Offer Cryptocurrency Trading to Customers in Regulatory Sandbox


Bancolombia, the largest bank in Colombia by total assets, is set to offer cryptocurrency trading to customers in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, a New York trust company and custodian regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Cynthia Del Pozo Garcia, the exchange’s principal of strategy & corporate development, announced Monday that starting Dec. 14:

Gemini and Bancolombia will launch a partnership to provide an initial cohort of customers of the Colombian bank a seamless on- and off-ramp to trade bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash (BCH) through the Gemini exchange.


The partnership with Bancolombia “also serves as an important step toward the strategic expansion” of its presence in Latin America, Gemini noted.

The exchange added:

Our partnership is part of a one-year pilot program run by Colombia’s financial regulator, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC), and will offer users seamless and secure access to crypto.


In January, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia announced that nine crypto initiatives will be allowed to test their products within the La Arenera regulatory sandbox.

Besides the Bancolombia and Gemini partnership, other partnerships in the sandbox are Banco de Bogotá and Bitso; Banco de Bogotá and Buda; Coltefinanciera and Obsidiam; Davivienda and Binance; Powwi and Binance; Coink and Banexcoin; Movii and Panda; and Movii and Bitpoint.

Do you think all banks should offer cryptocurrency trading? Let us know in the comments section below.