Mexico Flying the Flag for Crypto in Latin America

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Cryptocurrencies are on the march in Mexico, with the country now seemingly leading the way for Latin America’s fledgling fintech sector.

Source: iStock/mkarco

There are now 27 Latin American cryptocurrencies – with more in Mexico than in any other country in the region.

The area has long been considered a fintech backwater, but all that appears to be changing. Per new research from Endeavor, a total of 27 initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been carried out in Latin America to date. Of this number, Mexico leads with seven, while five ICOs each have been conducted in Argentina and Brazil. The other countries where ICOs have been conducted are: Chile (4), Colombia (3), Peru (2) and Ecuador (1).

The number is still relatively small, but, per reports, the first ICOs in the region only began appearing as recently as late last year and in the first few months of 2018.

According to media outlet Expansion, the head of Mexican crypto-startup Woonkly says that he hopes the company’s advertisement platform – whereby companies pay users in Wookly’s own cryptocurrency for watching their videos – will launch in the first quarter of 2019. The announcement comes after the company received a USD 3 million investment from a UAE-based venture capital group, in addition to an unspecified investment from an India-based group.

Another media outlet, El Criptografo, states there were only 50 or so registered fintech companies in Mexico in 2015, a number that grew to 2,400 last year. The country is also home to the largest crypto exchange in Latin America, Bitso.

Mexico’s government recently introduced its much-heralded fintech laws, which allow the government to regulate exchanges – and has won high-level international acclaim from the likes of the G24.

Per El Siglo, the country’s police have also welcomed the new legislation, with the chief commissioner and coordinator of the Electronic Crimes Prevention Unit stating, “It is a good law because it requires the registration and control of cryptocurrency issuers.”
Weekly LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, volume (in bitcoin) in Mexico: