Brazil’s Nubank launches crypto service with Paxos

Digital bank’s service will be powered by Paxos and launch with bitcoin and ether

Close up of Nubank’s app logo on a smartphone                                 
Nubank’s parent company Nu Holdings also announced the purchase of bitcoin equivalent to about 1% of its balance sheet cash – Photo: Shutterstock

Nubank, Brazil’s largest digital bank by market value, has announced its partnership with Paxos to bring crypto services and trading to its 54 million customers across Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. 

The trading and custody service will be powered by Paxos’s blockchain infrastructure, said Nubank, and will initially launch with bitcoin and ethereum before exploring other cryptocurrencies on its platform. The service will be available for customers in Brazil from this week onwards, with the aim to reach the firm’s entire customer base by the end of July 2022.

Nu Holdings, Nubank’s parent company, also announced the purchase of bitcoin equivalent to approximately 1% of its balance sheet cash to show its support behind the cryptocurrency and the future of the crypto market.

Nubank IPO

Last year, speculation swirled around whether the Brazilian fintech was looking to go public at a valuation close to $55bn. In December 2021, Nubank announced its initial public offering (IPO) and went public under the ticker symbol NU. Shares closed around $10 at the time, giving the firm a market cap close to $50bn. As of yesterday, 12 May 2022, NU stock closed at $4.

Nubank is currently backed by notable investors including Warren Buffet, who, although has openly admitted he’s a bitcoin critic, has previously pledged $1bn towards the digital bank to help boost its expansion plans. 

David Vélez, CEO of Nubank said: “There is no doubt that crypto is a growing trend in Latin America, one that we have been following closely and believe will have a transformational impact on the region. Yet the trading experience is still very niche as customers either lack information to feel confident to enter this new market or just get frustrated by complex experiences.

“We aim to empower our customers by putting them in control of their money. Therefore, we built an experience that was simple and intuitive enough to broaden access to new segments while being robust and powerful for the more crypto-savvy.”

Charles Cascarilla, CEO of Paxos, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Nubank to deliver its over 50 million customers in Brazil a safe and affordable cryptocurrency trading experience. Nubank’s move to enter the crypto trading space represents a strategic move not only for the company, but for an acceleration of the crypto currency adoption in the region.”

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