Colombia is poised to economically breakout in coming years due to its blessings of climate and natural resources, a vibrant working-age population, newly arrived at peace, and an embrace of bitcoin. Cryptocurrency conferences, training workshops, are sprouting all over the country in preparation.
Also read: Colombia Clarifies Stance on Bitcoin
Mauricio Tovar, blogger and cryptocurrency educator, tweeted plans to hold the second conference this year on bitcoin and related technologies in Colombia.
Organizers of the first gathering anticipated maybe 300 attendees. More than double that number attended. Topics included basic understanding of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency and proposed government regulation.
Mr. Tovar is co-director, and the second conference, Risks and Opportunities of Cryptocurrencies, is October 17 this month, free to the public, includes seven diverse panels, and will be in the prestigious Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (founded in the seventeenth century).
The latest conference comes on the heels of Colombia’s Synergy Cripto Adviser training forum, where “participants [had] the opportunity to understand how the market for cryptocurrencies works and moves, what influences it,” Criptonoticias reported.
The Republic of Colombia is sliced at its southeastern tip by the Equator. This makes for a hospitable climate all year, which is at least a reason why the South American country routinely ranks as one of the happiest places on the globe.
It’s situated to be influential in the region: Caribbean Sea to its northeast, Pacific Ocean to its west, and opportunistically bordered clockwise by Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama (Central America). That, and its recent agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) sealed a historical first, hemispheric peace.
This means precious capital can be reconstituted from government martiality and civil war, and put to work in productive sectors. The country now has every opportunity to exploit its latitude, abundant natural resources, and a population ready to work (half make up its labor force already).
Problems remain, however, and those to be addressed include improving upon its standing as a place for doing business.
Bogotá Finds Bitcoin
A debate within the broader bitcoin community involves the role of government. Ought it to just stay out of the way, as many bitcoiners hope, or is its job to encourage and nourish the nascent technology (as others urge).
In the latter case, Colombia’s government has promoted information technology.
However, prior to overt state initiatives, the country’s technology industry already boomed more than one hundred and seventy five percent. Half of its population is smart-phone using, and figures are increasing rapidly. Its overall economy is third largest on the continent.
The time is especially ripe for bitcoin.
Though the government has expressed interest in cryptocurrency regulation, Andrea Leal notes, “ATMs and peer-to-peer platforms concerning Colombia are outside the security monitoring of the state’s financial agencies. However, this does not prevent the public from acquiring cryptocurrencies at their own discretion.”
And acquiring bitcoin they seem to be doing in droves, as weekly measures illustrate.
Surbtc, a Chilean exchange serving Chile, Peru, and Colombia estimates “over the next 10 years 200 million South Americans will join the digital economy.”
“We are convinced that technologies such as Bitcoin,” the company urges, “are the catalysts of the next great world economic revolution: the inclusion of the remaining 65% of the world’s population that remains at the margin.”
Images courtesy of: YouTube, Delta, carnival.