TL;DR: Within the largest country in South America it just a little easier to use cryptocurrency. Mercado Livre gift cards can now be purchased with bitcoin, in-app, using BitPay. The country has long been considered an emerging market poised to break out, and Mercado Pago, which facilitates the gift cards, is an online payment site boasting 100 million registered users.
BitPay and Brazil’s Mercado Livre Partner
To read BitPay tell it, the company began its relationship with Mercado Livre back in 2018, integrating bitcoin into “one of the largest online commerce ecosystems in Latin America.” The Brazilian company was the first to accept bitcoin on a large scale in Brazil, and has recently thrown its hat in the ring, supporting Facebook’s Libra project. The gift card partnership is the pair’s newest venture, and Bitcoiners of old can attest to the power of using them to bypass friction-filled financial systems.
BitPay calls them “an interesting option,” and references gift cards in relation to remittances as perhaps holding “a key to solving real pain points in Latin America.” And confidence in crypto has been building in Brazil. “For almost two years, customers have been able to purchase goods and services with Bitcoin on Brazil’s largest e-commerce marketplace,” BitPay noted.
Now by using the popular Mercado Pago account, Brazilians can redeem Mercado Livre gift cards through in-app integration. Incorporating bitcoin payments into daily life is also an option with this arrangement. Utilities, metro rides, Uber credits, Google Play are just some of the reported benefits.
BitPay Regional Manager, Alberto Vega, explained, “Bitcoin has been growing in popularity in Brazil, and awareness of blockchain payments has skyrocketed in the last year as more and more people discover the value of Bitcoin. Sales volumes have risen 260% over the last 3 months compared with last year as the price of Bitcoin has gone up as well.”
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