In a significant development for the Brazilian cryptocurrency industry, Mercado Bitcoin, a prominent crypto exchange, has been granted a payment provider license by Brazil’s central bank, as reported by local media on June 2. This regulatory approval paves the way for Mercado Bitcoin to introduce its fintech solution, MB Pay.
“The approval from the Central Bank is a pivotal milestone for us,” emphasized Roberto Dagnoni, CEO of 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin. He emphasized the significance of this achievement, stating, “It enables us to forge ahead with expanding our business and delivering an enhanced service experience to our valued customers.”
With its status as a licensed payment institution, MB Pay will empower Brazilian users to leverage their crypto assets held on the exchange to access a range of targeted digital banking services. These services encompass digital fixed-income investments, staking, and various other financial transactions. Furthermore, Mercado Bitcoin is anticipated to introduce a debit card option, offering users a hassle-free off-ramp to convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional currencies when needed.
Earlier, traditional local broker Guide Investimentos had also announced a partnership with Mercado Bitcoin, signaling their entry into the digital asset market.
The rollout of Mercado Bitcoin’s fintech solution had initially been planned for 2021 but faced delays due to the regulatory approval process. Coincidentally, on the same day of receiving the payment provider license, Mercado Bitcoin was ordered to return over 2,182 Bitcoin, valued at $59.3 million at the time, to a group of investors. The investors alleged that a co-founder and former executive had wrongfully withheld funds in a fabricated hack incident in 2013.
Driven by a strong appetite for digital solutions and bolstered by its population of nearly 214 million, Brazil has emerged as a highly appealing market for cryptocurrency companies. Binance, a prominent player in the cryptocurrency exchange industry, has consistently recognized Brazil as one of its key global markets. Further highlighting the growing interest in the country, Binance’s local partner, Latam Gateway, secured a payment provider license in Brazil in May, solidifying its presence and expanding its capabilities within the market.
Notably, other crypto exchanges licensed as payment providers in Brazil include Crypto.com and Bitso. Coinbase, an American exchange, is also expanding its operations in the country, having established partnerships with local payment providers since March to facilitate crypto purchases, as well as enable deposits and withdrawals in the local currency.