E-Commerce Giant Mercado Libre Debuts an Ethereum-powered Coin in Brazil
The Latin American e-commerce heavyweight Mercado Libre has rolled out its own cryptoasset – named Mercado Coin – in Brazil.
The move is the latest in a series of bullish crypto-related moves from the company, which is often touted as the LATM region’s answer to Amazon. Last year, the company began accepting bitcoin (BTC) as a method of payment. And in January this year, the company invested in two of the region’s biggest crypto exchange platforms: Mercado Bitcoin and Paxos.
The firm also operates a fintech arm named Mercado Pago, which features crypto exchange and wallet functions. This month, the company stated that it would expand the range of its BTC, ethereum (ETH), and stablecoin trading features.
And now the firm has its own coin: an ECR20 token, built on the Ethereum blockchain. Initially, the firm appears keen to use Mercado Coin as a loyalty bonus, but the company intends to treat the coin as a fully-fledged cryptoasset, and will list it as a tradeable token on Mercado Pago. The firm said that “for now” it would not seek to list the coin on large exchanges outside its ecosystem – but its Mercado Bitcoin and Paxos partnerships could theoretically allow it to do so at a later date.
The firm worked with another crypto exchange – Argentina’s Ripio – to build the coin.
Yesterday, the company allowed 500,000 of its Brazilian customers to get their hands on the coin, but by the end of the month, it expects all 80 million of its customers in the nation to enjoy full access.
The company was quoted as explaining that it “still does not know” when it might seek to expand the reach of Mercado Coin to other Latin American nations.
Mercado Libre called the coin its way of “rewarding users for their behavior” within its “ecosystem,” and added that higher-spending individuals would receive more coin rewards.
Marcos Galperin, the firm’s Founder and CEO, took to Twitter to write that Mercado Coin would “further boost” the e-commerce platform’s “loyalty program” and said that the company was “taking another step to democratize financial inclusion in Latin America.”
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