Mercado libre launched its own cryptocurrency, Mercado Coin, yesterday. Initially, it will be available only to customers in Brazil. It will start trading in Brazil at USD 0.10, but its price may fluctuate depending on demand.
Mercado Libre had started offering the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in Brazil in late 2021. Previously, it had also acquired $7.8 million worth of bitcoin as part of a cash strategy, which resulted in a loss of nearly $10 million in the second quarter of this year.
A boost in customer retention
The company said there are plans to expand its use in the rest of the region. Customers of the platform will be able to purchase it or receive it as a refund when purchasing products on the company’s marketplace.
Mercado libre expects that by the end of August, the company’s 80 million customers in the neighboring country will have access to it.
The crypto was developed using the ERC-20 token standard, on the Ethereum blockchain (ETH) and in partnership with the Ripio platform.
According to the company, at this early stage it will not be possible to transfer Mercado coins to external digital wallets, but this service is expected to be launched soon.
Marcos Galperin said the launch of the cryptocurrency is a “shot in the arm” for its customer loyalty program.
The blockchain technology behind Mercado Coin has allowed us to develop an open and extremely secure solution. We continue to follow the evolution of cryptoassets and blockchain technology, as we believe in the potential of these tools,” explained Guilherme Cohn, senior director of corporate development at Mercado Libre.