Brazilian bank 2TM has raised $200 million for its subsidiary Mercado Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Brazil. The Series B funding round was the largest such in Brazilian history and was led by Japanese software giant SoftBank.
Mercado Bitcoin is part of the 2TM assets banking group, and is Brazil’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, and has processed $4 billion in transactions over the first five months of the year.
Roberto Dagnoni, CEO of 2TM, said in an interview with Business Insider:
"2020 was a record-breaking year, until 2021 came and in the first five months our trading volume was eleven times more compared to the same period of last year,"
"In Brazil, and generally speaking in Latin America, millions of people are realizing that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are both innovative emerging technologies and are efficient in storing value."
"Additionally, we've seen some of the lowest interest rates on record in Brazil, which fuelled the development of the alternative assets industry. Crypto is benefiting from this trend, which can also be seen in other asset classes, such as VC and private equity."
Mercado Bitcoin is certainly a success story. In the first part of this year alone, more volume has been processed than its entire seven year history. The company boasts 2.8 million users, with 700,000 of those joining since the start of the year.
The backing from SoftBank for Mercado Bitcoin has come despite a fairly neutral position on cryptocurrencies by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son. He recently expressed the view that he didn’t know if crypto was a good or bad thing, whether it had value or whether it was in a bubble.
According to Dagnoni, the raise will go towards “fast growth and investment in products”. Also, the exchange hopes to grow its staff to around 700 by the end of the year.
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