E-commerce giant MercadoLibre is stepping up its foray into crypto this time by allowing Brazilians to buy hold and sell cryptocurrencies using its Mercado Pago Digital Payments App.
This is according to a Tuesday disclosure by the app’s Vice President, Tulio Oliveira, during an exclusive interview with Bloomberg.
“We took the time to study and learn before deciding to step into crypto,” Oliveira said. “This has a transformational potential ahead and opens up a new avenue for us.”
Although the program has been available since early November to a small group of clients, it was not until this week that the company announced its plans to roll it out to the masses.
Tulio further disclosed that they had eyes peeled to rolling out the service beyond Brazil. He however noted that the service only limited customers to buying, selling, and holding cryptocurrencies stating that they would not be able to use them to purchase goods at any of the company’s outlets.
Laser-Focused On Crypto
This announcement comes after the company disclosed a $7.8 Million Bitcoin purchase in May in a move that saw it join a limited list of publicly traded companies with Bitcoin in their balance sheets including MicroStrategy and Tesla.
The company’s C.E.O Marcos Eduardo Galperin has been a great supporter of crypto, highlighting its importance on past occasions.
“People are trying to retain value and some of the cryptocurrencies will retain value by definition because they cannot be printed or devalued,” Eduardo had said earlier in the year.
In April, MercadoLibre also started allowing real estate listings in Argentina on its website in Bitcoin. The company which ranks first among Latin American companies by Market Capitalization is currently accepting payments in Argentina and Brazil in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is A Store Of Value
Other companies such as Paypal Holdings Inc, Cash App, and VenMo LLC have made similar announcements in the past. In September, Paypal announced that its U.K customers could start buying, hold and selling a range of crypto assets including bitcoin and ethereum using their Paypal wallets with the service having been set rolling earlier in the U.S.
While it has been argued that these moves have been a response to customer demands, traditional companies are increasingly noticing that Crypto and more so Bitcoin is a store of value, hence encouraging them to dive into the industry.
According to Nicholas Rosollilo, Mercadolibre’s crypto move is just as a great bargain as it is for businesses and citizens of Latin America given the volatility associated with Latin American currencies.