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Baker McKenzie Latin America Financial Institutions industry group’s FintechFest is the first of a series of webinars that aims to provide insights on key market trends, opportunities, and legal and regulatory challenges to guide financial institutions and technology companies through the panoply of issues in the rapidly evolving fintech sector.

In Latin America, financial innovation is causing an unprecedented shift in financial services and is on the agenda of many policy makers. Fintech is providing opportunities to deepen financial development and competition and in Latin America, improvements in financial technology is opening doors for financial inclusion throughout the region.

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Session 2: Is Latin America ready for a cryptocurrency boom in 2021?

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The second session takes a deeper look into the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in Latin America. The speakers traced the historical development of existing regulations and talked about the importance of creating a healthy ecosystem for cryptocurrencies and other relevant fintech innovations to prosper.

Alfonso Monroy, General Counsel of Bitso, provided an overview of the company’s business model, existing business practices, and observations on the jurisdictions where Bitso currently operates.

Panelists include Juan Carlos de los Heros (Peru), Sam Kramer (US), Carolina Pardo (Colombia), Alfonso Martinez-Bejarano (Mexico), and Gabriel Gómez Giglio (Argentina). The panelists offered questions and insights with respect to existing regulations in their jurisdictions – and shared their perspectives on what the future may look like for cryptocurrencies and the broader fintech ecosystem in Latin America.

Session 1: Building the DNA of a Successful Fintech Business in Latin America

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The first session explored mega trends in the market, the resulting opportunities for businesses, and legal and regulatory challenges with a view to helping financial institutions and businesses better navigate the rapidly changing world of fintech.

Dan Cohen, CEO and founder of Tienda Pago, provided an overview of the company’s business model, objectives, and strategies. He also spoke about developments around fintech, as well as relevant legal and regulatory challenges that are shaping the company’s future.

Speakers include Juan Carlos de los Heros (Peru), Gabriel Gómez Giglio (Argentina), Ricardo Trejos (Colombia), Luis Ernesto Marin (Peru), Marie Roschelle Quintero (Venezuela) and Alfonso Martinez-Bejarano (Mexico). They discussed various developments and challenges within Latin America. They also posed critical questions for Dan Cohen, providing better context in understanding some of these legal, regulatory, and business challenges from a company’s point of view.


Juan Carlos de los Heros is the managing partner of Estudio Echecopar and Chair of Latin America Capital Markets Steering Committee. He focuses mainly in the areas of banking and finance, and infrastructure. He has been listed in International Who's Who of Professionals, Chambers & Partners Latin America and Legal 500 as a leading lawyer in project finance. Prior to joining the Firm, Juan Carlos was an international lawyer in the global project finance group of an American law firm.


Gabriel Gómez Giglio practices mainly in banking and finance law in the Firm’s Buenos Aires office. He is a correspondent of the Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation and International Company and Commercial Law Review. He is the author of more than 20 articles and book chapters on topics related to his area of practice published in the UK, Germany and Argentina. Gabriel is a law professor at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and member of the Buenos Aires Bar Association.


Ricardo joined the firm in 2003 as part of the Disputes Resolution practice group. In 2008 he joined the corporate law practice group, mainly focusing on structured credit transactions, mergers and acquisitions and private equity fund formation. In 2015 he assumed the position of director of the banking and finance practice of Baker McKenzie in Colombia. Ricardo was also visiting attorney at the Baker McKenzie Chicago office during the second semester 2015. He has advised clients such as PayPal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Brookfield Asset Management, Altra Investments and Scotiabank Colpatria and Bonus Banca de Inversión. He is currently a member of the Steering Committees of the Banking and Capital Markets practice groups and of the Private Equity Subcommittee of Baker Mckenzie for Latin America.


Alfonso focuses his practice on financial technology (Fintech), regulatory compliance and real estate finance (including syndicated loan facilities). He regularly advises Fintech companies (local as well as multinationals) on regulatory and transactional matters, including e-wallet platforms, crowdfunding entities, online lending B2B platforms, digital banks, card payment processors (aggregators and acquirers), cryptocurrency exchanges and comparison product and services platforms. He also works on the negotiation of loan facilities, and their security interest documents.


Luis Ernesto Marin is a senior associate in Estudio Echecopar. He possesses significant expertise in regulatory banking and insurance matters (including experience advising Fintech companies) and his prior experience as in-house counsel of two of the major banks in Peru provides him a deep understanding of the financial services industry. He has also a broad experience representing lead financial institutions and companies in an assortment of domestic and cross-border financing transactions, including the San Martin Hydroelectric Project in Nicaragua which was awarded the "Latin America Hydro Deal of the Year" at the IJGlobal Awards 2017, and Ergon Perú's US$ 219.4 million senior secured notes due 2034. He has been recognized as a "Associate to watch" by Chambers Global and Chambers Latin America and as a "next generation lawyer" by The Legal 500 in the Banking & Finance practice, as well as a "rising star" by IFLR1000 in the Project Finance practice. About his practice, Chambers & Partners Latin America notes: "he's demonstrated that he is on top of it all. His knowledge is proficient and his willingness to do things is also good. He's always positive and available." Luis has authored a number of articles and other publications in topics related to his area of practice. His pro bono practice includes advising SINBA, winner of the 2017 Kunan Award and several other matters sponsored by Alianza PRO BONO Perú.