Mercado Bitcoin, the largest Brazil cryptocurrency exchange, has announced receiving an extra $200 million in investment from SoftBank, in what marks the latest development in the growth of digital currencies in Latin America.
The investment values Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company, 2TM Group, at $2.1 billion and represents SoftBank’s largest injection of capital into a Latin American crypto company.
The move comes less than two months after the Japanese corporate titan took part in a funding round that saw Mexican crypto exchange Bitso raise $250 million to become Latin America’s first crypto unicorn.
According to Roberto Dagnoni, executive chairman and CEO of 2TM Group, the investment would be used to further develop infrastructure and to continue scaling up, after massive growth in 2021. Approximately 700,000 new Mercado Bitcoin accounts were opened between January and May to swell the exchange’s client base to 2.8 million, in what points to a strong future for cryptocurrency in Brazil.
“Every single month [of 2021], we are trading the full volume of 2020,” Dagoni was reported as saying.
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Brazil cryptocurrency market growing fast
It is just six months since Sao Paulo-based Mercado Bitcoin first succeeded in raising funds, and seven years since the exchange was founded. It has since emerged as the biggest crypto exchange in Latin America’s largest economy, and one of the most important in the region.
The new funds will reportedly be used to add 200 more staff to the company’s 500-strong roster, as well as expanding into major regional markets such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. The money will also reportedly be used to push further growth for 2TM Group’s digital wallet MeuBank.
The capital comes from SoftBank’s much heralded $5 billion Latin America tech fund, established in 2019.
According to Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, the move was inspired by the “enormous potential” crypto has in Latin America, as highlighted by the growth in Brazil cryptocurrency.
“[Mercado Bitcoin is] at the forefront of the Latin American blockchain revolution and is a defining player in the cryptocurrency explosion in Brazil,” Claure was reported as saying.
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