Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre sets sights on Bitcoin payments

The Latin American online marketplace has revealed plans to allow customers to make payments with bitcoin on its payment platform, MercadoPago.


Planning ahead

The company said it is looking to have “one foot in the future” in an email it sent out its users.

It has been described as Latin America’s eBay, which is appropriate considering eBay is actually MercadoLibre’s largest common stocks owner with just under 20 per cent of the total common stocks.

The company started out in Argentina in 1999 and has expanded to cover 13 Latin American countries including Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.


Latin America and Bitcoin

The region has recently been considered to be an appealing place for Bitcoin, with Argentina in particular being predicted to be the next hotbed for the cryptocurrency. This year already Argentinian social network Taringa has partnered with bitcoin wallet and custodial service provider Xapo to tip its content creators in bitcoin.

Last year, ZipZap announced its expansion into Central and South America by enabling more than 170 million unbanked consumers to use cash to purchase bitcoins.



The bitcoin payments will be processed on MarcadoLibre’s payment platform, MercadoPago, which is what PayPal was to eBay. Customers will be able to pay in the cryptocurrency by selecting the option. It will also be available for off-site payments and other stores.

It has not been revealed which of the 13 countries will support the new service, and the rollout timeline has also not been announced.

The company said that the change will be almost inconspicuous with merchants only knowing if they were paid in bitcoin when they look at their transaction history.

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