Mercado Libre Broadens Crypto Offerings in Brazil

Latin American e-commerce company has launched a token aimed at generating crypto rewards as cashback on purchases


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Mercado Libre’s MercadoCoin is available to 500,000 users, with a further 80 million expected by month’s end
  • The token lets users earn crypto rewards as cashback on purchases and pay for goods on Mercado’s e-commerce platform

Latin American e-commerce company Mercado Libre has launched a token in Brazil, aimed at generating crypto cashback rewards on purchases, as well as the ability to pay for goods on its platform.

Dubbed MercadoCoin, the Ethereum-based token is tradable via the company’s digital payments platform, Mercado Pago. The endeavor is part of its loyalty program, designed to attract and retain customers.

Reuters first reported the news on Thursday, citing a press conference. Blockworks attempted to contact Mercado but did not immediately receive a response.

Mercado’s crypto pursuits can be viewed as a savvy play on the region’s high adoption rates of digital assets. Latin America has continued to capture between 8% and 10% of global cryptocurrency activity, according to Chainalysis’ research, reported in March.

Emerging markets face considerable currency devaluation resulting from high rates of inflation, driving locals to purchase crypto on P2P platforms in a bid to preserve their savings.

While crypto valuations have been impacted by the recent market rout spurred on by overleveraged lenders and a swing to bearish sentiment, the nascent asset class’s popularity in the region remains high.

The e-commerce giant began offering users access to bitcoin, ether and Paxos’ stablecoin PAX in December of last year after it partnered with the crypto service provider. Mercado also purchased a stake for an undisclosed sum in crypto exchange’s parent holding company 2TM and Paxos as a shareholder in January.

MercadoCoin is expected to be valued at $0.10 before being floated on the open market, Reuters reported. The crypto is available to 500,000 customers in Brazil, where it is anticipated to reach more than 80 million people by the end of the month.

The company also said the token will only be available to Brazilian nationals, with no timeframe given on an expansion to other Latin American countries. Despite using the ERC-20 token standard, trading will be limited to its Mercado Pago platform until further notice, Reuters reported.

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