In brief

  • Mercadobitcoin is the biggest exchange in Latin America, but operates almost exclusively in Brazil.
  • It wants to be a top-5 cryptocurrency exchange globally.
  • It's looking to expand to Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, among other countries.

Brazil's most popular crypto exchange is about to expand throughout Latin America.

Founded in 2013, Mercadobitcoin is one of the oldest and best-known cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil. It boasts more than 2 million customers and has moved over $3.7 billion in volume since its creation.

These numbers make Mercadobitcoin the largest exchange in Latin America, despite the fact that it operates almost exclusively in Brazil. 

Now, after a successful investment round that generated more than $37 million (200 Million BRL) from notable venture capitalists such as Parallax Ventures, Evora Fund, HS Investimentos FIP, Banco Plural, and Gear Ventures, the company hopes to get out of its cozy Brazilian environment and explore new horizons.

And it is aiming high. According to statements by Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercadobitcoin, the exchange hopes to compete with industry heavyweights: "We want to develop the crypto ecosystem in Brazil and create a market as developed as that of the United States. To do this, we want to be one of the five largest digital exchanges in the world.”

He added that the exchange is looking “at other markets, like Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, which have a regulatory culture closer to [Brazil’s].”

Mercadobitcoin is a pioneer in the field of Brazilian cryptocurrency trading. Unlike several other regional competitors, it has been able to survive the unfriendly posture of some regulators.

Currently, however, the country has a better opinion about crypto than it had in previous years. For example, the country’s central bank is considering issuing a CBDC, and even though there are still some legal voids in Brazil’s regulatory framework, the system is now more permissive regarding crypto trading.

This has served as a springboard for several crypto businesses to operate. Since 2018, several platforms have spread across the country, some even allowing Brazilians to use credit cards funded directly by the sale of their Bitcoins.

Some examples include Zro Bank, Bancryp, Alter, and Uzzo. While they don’t move as much volume as Mercadobitcoin, they are evidence that Brazil's crypto ecosystem is offering growth opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

In a press release today, the company also teased two new products: Bitrust, a custody service aimed at institutional clients, and Meubank, a digital wallet regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil.