Latin American and the Caribbean’s new blockchain alliance

21 November 2018 4 min. read

The Inter-American Development Bank’s latest initiative focused on strengthening the Americas position as a global leader in Industry 4.0 technologies is LAC-Chain. Together, a conglomerate of the world’s largest consulting and technology firms have joined forces to launch a new alliance to promote the use of blockchain in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Latin America continues emerges as a global competitor and a vibrant technology hub. Driven by a large tech-literate and highly educated population and fostered by an environment of entrepreneurialism and innovation, the region is fast becoming one of the most fertile grounds for emerging technologies.

With MexicoBrazil and Argentina already boasting a burgeoning fintech sector, governments, financial institutions and are beginning to realise the potential of creating a favourable environment. This potential extends beyond stimulating economic growth and can create a more inclusive financial system, especially for the 49% of Latin American adults who do not have access to a bank account.

Governments and other transnational organizations across LatAm are undertaking a number of initiatives to support and promote fintech’s development. Whilst it is a separate entity – with uses that stretch beyond the financial system – blockchain technology falls under the umbrella of fintech.

"Blockchain technology has the extraordinary potential to provide vulnerable populations excluded from the formal system with access to financial and non-financial services, digital identity, and ownership of their own data,” said Irene Arias, IDB Lab manager.

Latin American and the Caribbean’s new blockchain alliance

"However, this does not mean that the technology’s enabling environment—its ecosystem—is ready and available to everyone, so together with our international partners we have decided to launch this Global Knowledge Alliance for the Development of the Blockchain Ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC-Chain).”

To facilitate the growth of blockchain throughout the region – which is notorious for over-regulation stifling innovation or investment – LAC-Chain intends to share knowledge of the different initiatives, providing technological advice, market stimuli, and analysis of impact data as catalysts for the democratization of the use of this technology. Their intention is to create an ecosystem which benefits reach the most underserved populations in the entire region.

The alliance was initiated by the Inter-American Development Bank comprises of global technology consulting firm Everis (a NTT data company) as well as the Alastria Consortium, ConsenSys, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and RSK. Launched at the FOROMIC 2018 conference in Barranquilla, Colombia, the innovative has recently attracted high impact partners such as Ethereum Foundation, Hyperledger, the MIT Media Lab, IBM and Accenture.

"Through this initiative, we hope to realize the dream of having a large Pan-American blockchain space that is interoperable and open, and that makes blockchain accessible to all citizens and for those who work for a prosperous future with inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Arias.

Accenture and everis have been heavily present in the adoption of the technology across Latin America and beyond. Everis believe that “blockchain will fundamentally change the way we do business” and they are becoming global leaders in the field of blockchain consulting and industry advancement.

For heavyweight technology consulting firm Accenture, blockchain is much more than cryptocurrencies. “Blockchain technology provides new infrastructure to build the next innovative applications beyond cryptocurrencies, driving profound, positive changes across business, communities and society,” says the firm who have a number of blockchain incubators and fintech labs scattered around the Americas.