Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre has launched its own cryptocurrency called Mercado Coin in the South American country of Brazil. This latest development is the latest in a series of positive moves by the company, which is seen as the Amazon of the Latin America Region. The company started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method last year. In January this year, the company invested in the region's two largest crypto trading platforms: Mercado Bitcoin and Paxos.
The company also operates a fintech unit called Mercado Pago, which has crypto exchange and wallet functions. The company noted this month that it will expand its BTC, Ethereum and stablecoin trading capabilities. And now the company has its own coin.
What is Mercado Coin?
An ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. The company initially wants to use Mercado Coin as a loyalty bonus, but plans to treat the coin as a full-fledged cryptocurrency and will list it as a tradable token on Mercado Pago. The company said that it does not plan to list the coin on major exchanges outside the coin ecosystem for now, but it may do so in the future through its partnerships with Mercado Bitcoin and Paxos. The company worked with another crypto exchange, Argentine Ripio, to create the coin.
According to Bloomberg Línea and Reuters, the coin will initially be valued at $0.10 but will be "vulnerable to market fluctuations". The company allowed 500,000 Brazilian customers to purchase the coin yesterday, but hopes to have full access to all of its 80 million customers in the region by the end of the month.
The company explained that it is not yet clear when other Latin American countries will be able to gain access to Mercado Coin. Mercado Liber said the coin is a way to reward users for their behavior within the ecosystem, adding that high spenders will receive more coin rewards. Marcos Galperin, founder and CEO of the company, wrote on Twitter that Mercado Coin will support the e-commerce giant's loyalty program, and said the company is taking another step to democratize financial inclusion in Latin America.