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Mercado Libre launches crypto trading in Chile


Argentine e-commerce giant Mercado Libre (MELI) is continuing with expansion plans for its crypto business with a fresh launch in Chile, a comparatively wealthy South American nation.

Mercado Libre

Mercado Pago, the online payment platform owned by Mercado Libre, has partnered with Latin American fintech Ripio to be the go-to destination for Chileans interested in getting into cryptocurrency. Both companies had jointly developed and launched Mercado Coin, an Ethereum ERC-20 token, which will be also available to local traders.

The payments app has crypto trading functions and allows customers to buy, sell and save Bitcoin, as well as Ethereum and stablecoins.

After years of court battles in Chile, cryptocurrency exchanges were allowed to open bank accounts through a financial institution that established a protocol to serve these businesses. Chile’s central bank also announced last year a strategy for the potential roll-out of its own digital currency as policymakers seek to keep pace with fast-spreading cryptocurrencies.

Mercado Pago, reportedly the largest online payment platform in Latin America, initially launched its crypto trading service in December 2021 in Brazil.  Further, in November 2022, it entered the Mexican market, where it says the first month of operation brought as many as 150 thousand users to the app.

Now, Mercado Pago is looking for a similar bump in Chile as the e-commerce platform proceeds with its gradual rollout in what the company’s President Osvaldo Gimenez calls “aggressive growth”.

“We continue to open the doors of the #cripto world for millions of users in the region: first Brazil and Mexico, and now also #MercadoPago users in Chile can buy, sell and save #Bitcoin and #Ethereum from the app. When we launched this feature in Mexico, in the first month 150 thousand users operated, while in Brazil we are already going for 2 million users and counting. We eliminate barriers to access to the #criptomonedas market, through a very simple operation from the app and with minimum amounts to operate very low, so that even users with less experience or knowledge can take their first steps,” he added in a Linkedin post.

The move comes months after Coinbase laid out its strategy to build a tech hub in Latin America. Following this acquisition, Coinbase’s next steps will be to expand outside of Brazil, hopefully finding acquisitions in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.



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