- The Argentine company wants to take advantage of the cryptocurrency boom in Brazil and use its platform as a crypto exchange service.
- Although the direct purchase of products using cryptocurrencies will not be available yet, the company is expected to implement it soon.
- Mercado Pago’s services will also be extended to the rest of the Latin American countries in the future.
Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre has ventured into the cryptocurrency market by launching services in Brazil, through its Mercado Pago application.
For now, the company has explained that it will not yet be possible to use cryptocurrencies to directly pay for goods and services on the platform. In the near future, Mercado Libre plans for the service to be implemented in other markets in the region.
Until now, the Argentine company had steered clear of cryptocurrencies, despite recognizing that cryptocurrencies will have a “relevant role in transnational payments” and “have an important role as a store of value.”
But even the CEO of Mercado Libre, Marcos Galperín, was not convinced about the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. He believed that many challenges had to be overcome before its implementation as a currency could be justified.
Galperin’s biggest doubt was precisely related to the use of crypto for the acquisition of goods and services, such as through the Mercado Libre platform, the option for which is not yet available.
This has not stopped the company from gradually storing bitcoins in its wallet. Last May, Mercado Libre announced the acquisition of $7.8 million in BTC using available liquid funds.
Although Galperín agrees with the general use of cryptocurrencies, and is convinced of the enormous possibilities offered by decentralization through blockchain technology, he also recognizes that when paying “the QR code is much more efficient than cryptocurrencies.”
"We take the time to study and learn before deciding to take a step towards cryptocurrencies. This has transformative potential ahead and opens up a new avenue for us,"
the executive said.
The Mercado Pago application will have a new option available in the form of a “crypto” button that will appear along with the added functionalities of buttons like, “send money,” “discounts,” “QR code”and others.
Through his Twitter account, the CEO of Mercado Libre wrote:
"Starting this week in #Brasil, users of @MercadoLivre and @mercadopago can buy, save and sell crypto."
This service has been available to certain Mercado Pago clients in Brazil since early November, but will now be opened to more users in the coming weeks, Mercado Pago VP Tulio Oliveira told Bloomberg.
On the Flipside
- It is not by chance that Mercado Libre has chosen Brazil as a pilot for the launch of the cryptocurrency purchase and sale service. The largest Latin American economy is widely considered to be the best market in the region to test products and service launches.
Why You Should Care
- Mercado Libre’s foray into cryptocurrency trading is an indicator of how the market is moving, and of the rapid adoption of digital currencies in the region.