Mercado Pago, Mercado Libre‘s fintech, reached the mark of 1 million active users making cryptocurrency transactions, just two months after launching a service to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies through its digital wallet. The whole operation can be done directly through the app and users are be able to buy cryptocurrencies with money available in Mercado Pago’s digital account, starting at BRL 1.
According to Tulio Oliveira, VP of Mercado Pago, the mark of 1 million users points to democratic access to cryptocurrencies in the country. “We have observed real democratization, with users starting to trade from small amounts, and going on to try cryptocurrencies for the first time. We see a very large potential for financial inclusion,” he said.
Launched last December only in Brazil, Mercado Pago’s cryptocurrency buying, selling and custody service marked Mercado Libre‘s entry into the digital assets market. The service allows customers to track, buy, or sell three cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDP, a stable coin paired to the dollar. Other digital currencies may be included in the future.
For now, cryptocurrencies cannot be used to pay for purchases made through Mercado Libre‘s e-commerce, but this is on the company’s radar. Last week, Stelleo Tolda, one of Mercado Libre‘s co-founders and the main name ahead of the e-commerce platform’s operation in Brazil, said in a BTG Pactual event that there is some demand for cryptocurrency payment options, but that the volatility of digital currencies makes it difficult to set the value of assets. “You can still do a lot in this universe,” said the executive.
The fintech‘s entry into the crypto ecosystem was made possible through a partnership with US company Paxos, a world-class custodial and blockchain platform that will enable the management of cryptocurrency buying, selling, and storing transactions.
In January, Mercado Libre announced a strategic investment in Paxos. The company also bought a stake in Grupo 2TM, parent company of the crypto unicorn Mercado Bitcoin, a platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.