Brazil’s Mercado Bitcoin Cuts 8% of Staff, Shifts Focus to ‘High-Impact’ Businesses

Brazil’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has laid off 45 people, but said it is still hiring for its development and product teams

Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin, during the Web Summit Rio 2023 (Photographer: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit Rio via Sportsfile)
August 18, 2023 | 08:15 PM

Read this story in


Bloomberg Línea — Mercado Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency broker owned by Brazilian holding company 2TM and financed by SoftBank, laid off 45 people this week, defining the decision as a “consolidation of operations” after having received licenses and adjusted the team to focus on growing the business.

Mercado Bitcoin Plans To Expand Into Latin America Through Acquisitions

Currently, Mercado Bitcoin has more than 300 employees around the world, which means that the cut was equivalent to around 15% of the workforce. But the company said that the actual reduction will be smaller.

Questioned by Bloomberg Línea, Mercado Bitcoin said that the cut will be equivalent to 8% of its workforce, as the development and product team continues to hire at the same time as the company is “rebalancing priorities and some competencies”.

Last year, the company laid off 190 employees.


In June, the company received authorization from Brazil’s central bank to become a payment institution and launched the digital bank MB Pay.

In Portugal, the company received authorization to transact and manage crypto assets.

“These advances occurred in the middle of the crypto winter, which shows the robustness of Mercado Bitcoin’s operations and that it accredits the ecosystem to lead the development of the tokenized economy in the country,” the company said in a note sent to Bloomberg Línea.


“As such, Mercado Bitcoin is reorganizing its operations to address these challenges and focus on high-impact business initiatives.”

The adjustment has resulted in the layoff of 45 employees and the prioritization of business growth avenues, according to the company.

In an interview with Bloomberg Línea in May, Mercado Bitcoin’s CEO Reinaldo Rabelo said that, “with the economic crisis in the innovation and venture capital market, we have made adjustments to our structure and can withstand up to three years of a less heated market,” which meant that the company would be able to wait up to three years without new fundraising.

The Infuriating Reality of Traveling with Bitcoin in the World’s Crypto Capital