The Argentine government has had issues and ongoing arguments with Uber for quite some time. This comes to light as many jurisdictions around the world have given the company problems. Now, in the city of Buenos Aires, the local officials gave instructions to credit card companies to stop associating with the company’s operations. The courts say Uber does not meet the legal standards to provide the Argentine public with transportation services.
With the Argentine authorities trying to blockade the company’s app and credit card services, the business was left with little resources. That was until Xapo stepped in and offered a bitcoin alternative, which seemed to quell the storm.
Xapo, created by Wences Casares and Federico Murrone, is a bitcoin wallet and debit card provider for everyday cryptocurrency needs. Xapo’s bitcoin-based debit card, fortunately, does not operate locally, and therefore was unable to be blocked in Argentina.
Anni Rautio, heads Xapo’s debit card sector told press during the Argentine Uber fiasco:
“A normal Argentinian person cannot go and suddenly open a bank account in Gibraltar. All they have to do is set up their Xapo and receive it at home, and it’s ready to use. This is a very specific situation with a very specific problem and a very specific solution.”
Bitcoin, being a decentralized, non-government-issued digital currency, allows users to hold accounts with the Xapo service easily, and is free from most restrictions. The cryptocurrency works behind the scenes with Xapo, allowing Uber to transact with bitcoin on the Visa network. Xapo claims, since their actions in Argentina, they have been inundated with requests for debit cards, their story making local news headlines.
The government seems to be working closely with the local taxi industry, who have been the ones most troubled by the Uber platform. After pushing Uber to the wayside, the transportation department of Buenos Aires decided to unveil the BA Taxi application, which has government approval. However, local reports have said that since the Xapo alliance started, Uber services have continued and are still processing roughly 18,000 rides per week in Buenos Aires region.
Bitcoin has become a renowned tool for circumventing government sanctions all over the world, and this case with Uber Argentina is no different. It’s only a matter of time until more citizens of the globe realize how beneficial the cryptocurrency can be. Companies like Xapo have stepped up to the plate and enabled a bitcoin-based credit card solution for this issue in the Latin American region.
The peer-to-peer, decentralized currency continues to show the world it cannot be stopped and will disrupt authorities totalitarian control wherever it is used because of its censorship-resistant properties.