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Cryptocurrency South America Trending

Serving Unbanked in Brazil: Lanistar Launches Crypto Service in App

As cryptocurrency popularity grows in Latin America (LatAm), Lanistar, the payment card provider, has evolved its payments app to tap into the market. The update allows Brazilian users to buy and sell cryptos, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, directly from the app.

Lanistar has felt a strong affinity with cryptocurrency. Working in line with its financial inclusion beliefs, the company is looking to take a diverse, modern approach to money. Lanistar has decided to remove physical waste created by using plastic cards. Instead, it has put its faith in cryptocurrency and digital cards as one solution to solve the problems the unbanked and underbanked are facing.

On the matter, chief commercial officer at Lanistar, Merton Smith, said: “The plastic-free virtual cards, it gives us that flexibility that we’re not simply bolted to a table like a terminal in a fixed format: we’re virtual. So wherever users go, the virtual goes too.

“So, you know, we’re embracing crypto, and crypto is an example where there’s no- you know, it’s definite, it’s defined, it’s there,” Smith continued. “I think that we serve the underbanked, the underserved people who don’t feel like they are represented by these traditional banking institutions. And I think crypto is one of the things that people have turned to as an alternative to these systems.”

Alternative to traditional banking systems

Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since their inception in 2009, with the birth of Bitcoin. In recent years celebrities like Elon Musk and outlets like Gucci and Starbucks, have all helped in promoting cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. Consequently, digital currencies now have more diverse in-person use cases than ever before.

Some have sided with crypto for other reasons though. Many across Brazil have felt the current banking systems are failing them. In turn, they have looked for solace in cryptocurrencies and the security blockchain technology provides. Lanistar’s product update makes this alternative finance more accessible.

On the Lanistar crypto exchange itself, CEO Jeremy Baber said: “The layout is simple, straightforward. Some exchanges, they fill the screen with information, it’s overwhelming, and that can make new investors nervous. With Lanistar, our goal is to make something that anyone can use. Where users can just log on, tap a few buttons, and their chosen crypto is there, in their account. That’s the goal”.

The Lanistar app and its current crypto functionality are available in Brazil. The app is expected to reach the UK and other LatAm regions later this year. Further functions will become available later this Summer. This will include a full crypto exchange offering send and receive functionality creating a full ‘AnyMoney’ solution.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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