Mercado Bitcoin Plans To Expand Into Latin America Through Acquisitions

Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin, said the company is expected to enter Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Colombia later this year through M&As

Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin.
April 08, 2022 | 05:56 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Brazil’s crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin will have a shopping spree and acquire companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin, said in an interview during the Founders Tech Summit event that the initiative comes to compete with crypto companies that are operating in several countries.

“We want to enter through acquisition, we don’t want to start from scratch. So we start by complying with the regulation of each country. Acquisitions end up being a more obvious path.”

Rabelo did not confirm, but neither did he deny the supposed acquisition of the holding company that Mercado Bitcoin is part of, 2TM, by Coinbase. “We don’t have anything to talk about. Coinbase is a publicly-traded company in the United States,” he said.

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Mercado Bitcoin did its first fundraising process last year, co-lead by GP. The company even was going to start an IPO process on Brazil’s stock exchange B3, as banks approached the firm in 2021, but eventually opted to remain private to receive $200 million from SoftBank and become a $2.1 billion unicorn.

“Right now we have all the resources we need to fulfill our next few years of planning. We do not have to make new funding rounds,” said the exec.

In the opposite movement, of foreign companies that come to Brazil, Rabelo said that companies from abroad have to adapt to local rules to operate in Brazil. “We see the big players without paying taxes, without complying with data protection regulations, without complying with the money laundering prevention rule. Binance and all these international companies assume no responsibility to comply with local regulations. This is very bad for the ecosystem itself, which ends up facilitating the emergence of pyramids and fraud, which are often supported by these companies,” he said.

Through a press statement, Binance said that it operates in permanent dialogue with local regulatory authorities and with full commitment to the development of the sector in Brazil and worldwide, which includes the regulation of the segment. The company highlighted that the recent announcement of the acquisition process of Sim:paul, a Brazilian broker authorized by the Central Bank and the CVM (Securities Commission) is a reinforcement of that.

(This article has been updated to add Binance’s statement)