Both the services were launched yesterday, with Galicia offering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and stablecoin USDC. According to a report from Spanish site CriptoNoticias, the Galicia service is powered by Liechtenstein-based Lirium.
Users can choose to invest very small amounts into crypto but cannot withdraw it from the banking platform. They can only sell it back to the bank. There are also warnings that Argentinian laws do not protect the cryptocurrencies in the wallet.
Last year, Chainalysis published a report that ranked Argentina as the number ten country in cryptocurrency adoption. Trading volumes increased substantially through to mid-2020 as the Argentine peso devalued. However, P2P volumes declined significantly in the year to July 2020.
In some other parts of the world, bank offerings of cryptocurrency are restricted to accredited investors. One example is the DBS Digital Exchange in Singapore, where individual investors have to go via intermediaries. On the flipside, the Swiss subsidiary of Spanish bank BBVA offers direct cryptocurrency access.