Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce company in Latin America by market value, will enable users in Brazil to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies, the company confirmed to CoinDesk on Monday.
Bloomberg Law first reported the news in a story earlier in the day that Mercado Libre co-founder and CEO Marcos Galperin retweeted.In a written statement, Mercado Libre said that it was entering the cryptocurrency environment in Brazil together with a world-class custodian,” although it didn’t specify with whom it would partner for this service. The company added that it is “analyzing all financial and regulatory aspects surrounding this technology.”MercadoLibre has been hinting for months about bolstering its crypto services. In August, Osvaldo Gimenez, Mercado Pago President, said in an interview with Bloomberg Linea that Bitcoin and Ethereum “could be a revolution in finance.”Galperin said on Twitter that users of both Mercado Livre, the Brazilian branch of the company, as well as Mercado Pago, its fintech arm, will be able to “buy, store and sell crypto” starting this week.The company made the feature available to a small group of Brazilian users in November and plans to launch it more widely in the coming weeks, according to Tulio Oliveira, vice president of Mercado Pago, Bloomberg Law reported on Monday.In May, the company, which trades on Nasdaq as MELI, disclosed a $7.8 million bitcoin purchase that was part of its treasury strategy. One month earlier, its Argentine real estate platform launched a special section for the sale and purchase of properties with bitcoin.Mercado Pago’s digital wallet has 16.8 million unique users, according to information provided by Mercado Libre in its third-quarter report of 2021.