E-commerce giant MercadoLibre launches its own MercadoCoin cryptocurrency in Brazil

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E-commerce giant MercadoLibre launches its own MercadoCoin cryptocurrency in Brazil

On August 18, MercadoLibre Inc, a multinational e-commerce company based in Latin America, announced the creation of a new cryptocurrency called MercadoCoin, which will be implemented in its loyalty program.

As reported by Reuters, the cryptocurrency will operate on the Ethereum network as an ERC-20 token at a price of $0.10 each. It will mainly be used for cashback and purchases on the MercadoLibre platform. The dev team also hinted at opening the token to the secondary market at some point, but didn’t elaborate on the idea:

“The MercadoLibre cryptocurrency will initially be valued at $0.10 each before being opened to market fluctuations.”

MercadoCoin will be available in 80 million accounts

Starting August 18, the cryptocurrency will be available to over 500,000 users in Brazil; however, the team plans to make it available to at least 80 million customers by the end of the month.

For now, the company has no plans to launch in other regions, as it would be difficult to comply with all the different regulatory procedures needed to operate in other countries. This is of the utmost importance, considering the difference in policy towards crypto in Latin America. Countries like El Salvador, Brazil, and Venezuela are more crypto-friendly, but others like Bolivia, Ecuador, or Chile take the opposite stance.

Marcos Galperin, CEO and founder of MercadoLibre, said via his official Twitter account that this new initiative will strengthen the company’s loyalty program and help “democratize financial inclusion in Latin America”.

Mercadolibre continues to bet on the cryptocurrency market

As reported by CryptoPotato, MercadoLibre entered the cryptocurrency world last year by launching a wallet allowing Brazilian users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT).

However, earlier this week Osvaldo Gimenez, CEO of Mercado Pago, said that they would extend this service to the entire region allowing all users to store, sell or buy cryptocurrencies without the need for third party banks, exchanges or brokers.

“We are going to expand in the region the ability to buy, sell and have cryptocurrencies in your account. It works with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a stablecoin that mirrors the value of the dollar.

According to Gimenez, the use of cryptocurrencies through MercadoPago will have a significant impact in the region, since many people are unbanked or use them mainly to withdraw money, so this is an “opportunity for ‘investment’ for those looking for an alternative to fiat currency.

“It’s an alternative investment opportunity that we find very interesting and that is generating a lot of interest from users. At a time when the dollar is appreciating, the investments that users have with us are low and for us it is one more way to diversify their portfolio.

Apart from MercadoCoin and the crypto wallet, Mercadolibre also has invested in bitcoin as a company, is a strategic investor to Paxos and one of Brazil’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and was one of the members of the defunct Libra Association through its fintech arm, MercadoPago.

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