Online marketplace Mercado Libre, Latin America’s answer to Amazon, announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency today.
The company has launched Mercado Coin for customers in Brazil as an ECR20 token—the implemented standard for tokens created using the Ethereum blockchain. Users of the marketplace will be able to use it to earn cashback rewards.
Mercado Coin will initially be valued at $0.10, but will be subject to market fluctuations, the company said.
“Mercado Coin is our new way of rewarding our users for their behavior within our ecosystem,” Mercado Libre said. “The more purchases of selected products they make, the more Mercado Coins they receive.”
Argentinian cryptocurrency exchange Ripio developed the technology behind the token.
Mercado Libre CEO and founder Marcos Galperin said on Twitter: “Today we launched Mercado Coin in Brazil, further boosting our loyalty programme and taking another step towards democratizing financial inclusion in Latin America.”
The idea is that customers will be able to use the cryptocurrency to buy things on the marketplace or trade it via the company’s fintech arm, Mercado Pago.
Mercado Libre also said that the token would not be available to buy on other platforms apart from Mercado Pago.
Mercado Libre is the biggest online marketplace in Latin America and has put millions of dollars-worth of Bitcoin on its balance sheet.
In January, there were rumors Mercado Libre was working on releasing its own stablecoin—but this was never confirmed by the firm.
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