MercadoLibre Introduces Cryptocurrency for Transactions in Brazil
On August 18, South American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre Inc (MELI.O) announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency called MercadoCoin, which will be implemented in Brazil as part of its loyalty program, for crypto cashback rewards on purchases, as well as the ability to pay for goods on its platform.
MercadoLibre told a press conference that users will earn MercadoCoins as cashback while purchasing items on the e-commerce platform.
They can then utilize the digital currency, which adheres to Ethereum's ERC-20 token standard, for new buys or exchange it on MercadoPago, the company's financial services unit.
The step comes as competition in Brazil's e-commerce increments, with Sea Ltd's (SE.N) Shopee revealing a 270% revenue bounce in the country in the second quarter and China's AliExpress also making progress there.
It follows a downturn in crypto markets that saw giants such as Celsius and Voyager falling earlier this year, however, MercadoLibre's country lead Fernando Yunes said the organization was zeroing in on long-term opportunities as opposed to on short-term market movements.
Initially, MercadoLibre's cryptocurrency will be valued at $0.10 apiece before being open to market fluctuation.
It will be accessible to 500,000 users in Brazil beginning Thursday and is supposed to reach the company's total 80 million-people user base in the country by late August.
The firm said it still did not know when it would expand MercadoCoin to other Latin American countries other than Brazil. It also noted that apart from MercadoPago the digital currency would not be traded on other exchanges for now.
CBW - External Analyst