The fact that Bitcoin has become a legal tender in El Salvador has given a new lease of life to the entire southern part of the American continent. Now the adventure continues with the Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin, which has just received funding from Japan’s SoftBank. With this money, it will be able to participate further in the democratization of cryptos in Latin America.
Mercado Bitcoin pushed by Japan
The Japanese institution SoftBank has just invested $200 million, via its Latin American fund, in Mercado Bitcoin, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the region.
The move is part of the exchange’s Series B funding round, according to the CEO of its parent company, 2TM, Roberto Dagnoni. For the record, this is SoftBank’s largest investment in a Latin American cryptocurrency company.
Launched in 2013, Mercado Bitcoin’s user base reached 2.8 million in 2021. The exchange welcomed 700,000 new customers in the first 5 months of 2021. As a result, the volume of exchanges passed $5 billion during this period, which is more than the total volume of exchanges during the first 7 years. With this funding, 2TM is now worth $2.1 billion.
Mercado, ambitious plans for late 2021
This capital will be used to develop Mercado Bitcoin’s operations, to expand its offerings, but also to acquire the proper infrastructure to meet the growing demand for cryptocurrencies in Latin America. The exchange plans to expand in the region via acquisitions and mergers. It also plans to increase the number of employees to 700 by the end of 2021.
Mercado Bitcoin also plans to take on institutional investors in earnest, based on Dagnoni’s statements about the importance of custody “to unleash the power of the institutional market” in an interview with Reuters. In fact, the company plans to launch its digital wallet, MeuBank, and its digital custody service, Bitrust. According to the 2TM executive, these projects are currently awaiting approval from Brazilian authorities.
With El Salvador’s first step, members of the Brazilian Congress even ended up publicly showing their sympathy for Bitcoin. With this substantial funding, it’s Mercado Bitcoin’s turn to expand its activities, in a context where all of Latin America seems to want to get on board with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.