E-commerce giant Mercado Libre announces crypto payments

Mercado Libre users will be able to buy, sell, trade cryptocurrencies directly via app

Mercado Libre logo on cell screen                                 
Mercardo Libre ventures into the world of cryptocurrencies - Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre has announced it will allow its users to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies directly via its app and on its platform. 

According to Bloomberg, Tulio Oliveira, vice president of Mercado Pago (a subsidiary business under the Mercado Libre umbrella) said the feature has been available to a small group of clients earlier this month and it will be rolled out to users over the coming weeks. 

“We took the time to study and learn before deciding to step into crypt. This has a transformational potential ahead and opens up a new avenue for us.”

An initial foray into crypto

The move by Mercado Libre marks its official foray into the world of cryptocurrencies as it aims to develop a focal point for its financial services.

Mercado Libre’s service would allow an entry point for its 10 million users in Brazil, the company's largest market in South America, as well as its 200 million users in all of Latin America, to use cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it purchased $7.8m worth of bitcoin as part of its "treasury strategy". It's unclear as to why or how the acquisition would be beneficial to the firm, however recent reports state the move was to capatilise on the potential opportunities around cryptocurrencies.

As it stands, users won’t be able to use cryptocurrencies to pay directly for goods purchased on MercadoLibre, although it's unclear when or if this will change as part of the company's strategic growth plans in the future.

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