Last week, we tackled a number of issues in Latin America’s tech scene, from Bitcoin to authentication paradigms, IT education to what’s new with Airbnb. In case you missed it, take a look:
Airbnb is upping its efforts in emerging markets, including and perhaps especially in Latin America. And in the region, it has had to make some adjustments to approach, putting the spotlight on domestic travelers looking for a place to stay.
“The reality is that in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, which are very important markets for us in the region, most business is in tourism that happens within the country,” explained Jordi Torres Mallol, General Manager of Airbnb in Latin America, in an interview with PulsoSocial. He also discussed the problem of evangelization and the adoption of the collaborative economy mindset in LatAm.
Out of Buenos Aires, Crypto Currency Concepts is placing all of its eggs into the virtual currency basket. It has a handful of projects on the horizon, all aimed at “building a better financial system, one trade at a time” – starting with Bitcoin. We spoke with company co-founder Patrick Dugan regarding what appear to be some quite lofty goals for the startup in the months and years ahead as well as his unique take on financial markets:
I suspect the growth of added layers of financial services coming online, such as betting, investing, hedging, borrowing, etc., are going to see way faster adoption in LatAm than in the U.S., even Canada will outpace the U.S. There is more money in System D and the export sectors of these smaller countries than in the U.S. economy. The gap is going to grow for a decade or two as part of a secular trend towards global economic decentralization.
AuthenWare is about to present a proposal to overhaul authentication. Casting aside the usual formula of usernames and passwords, the company hopes to change the way security and identification work.
“Our proposal is to return identity to individuals, the factors of authentication,” explained Daniel Caselles, CTO at AuthenWare. “We’re presenting an international open standard for each person to have an authentication wallet, a wallet of authentication factors you take with you.”
Having just expanded from Spain to Miami and with an eye on Latin America, Ironhack provides intensive programming courses for entrepreneurs and developers. And unlike most other tech education options out there, Ironhack keeps the focus on in-person interactions and learning.
“We’re big fans of online education and what it’s done in terms of increasing access and lowering costs. In fact, we use a lot of the online learning tools as part of our course pre-work to teach many of the basic coding concepts. However, we’re believers that still the best way to learn is in person,” outlined Ironhack co-founder Ariel Quinones in an interview with PulsoSocial. “There’s just something special about being in the same physical space with your teacher. Peer-to peer-learning flows better. Engagement and motivation levels are much higher than in online learning as evidenced by super low MOOC completion rates.”
When it comes to computer science education, Latin America is still behind the curve. Moreover, educators are failing to keep pace with the region’s fast-growing IT market. The translation: lack of talent. This guest column from Santex explores the issue in-depth.