On August 18, MercadoLibre Inc, a multinational e-commerce company based in Latin America, announced the creation of a new cryptocurrency called MercadoCoin, which will be implemented in its loyalty program.
As reported by Reuters, the cryptocurrency will run on the Ethereum network as an ERC-20 token priced at $0.10 each. It will be used primarily for cashback and purchases inside MercadoLibre’s platform. The developer team also hinted at opening the token to the secondary market at some point, but did not elaborate on the idea:
“MercadoLibre’s cryptocurrency will be initially valued at $0.10 apiece before being open to market fluctuation.”
Starting August 18, the cryptocurrency will be available to more than 500,000 users in Brazil; however, the team expects to make it available to at least 80 million customers by the end of the month.
For now, the company has no plans to launch in other regions, as it would be challenging to comply with all the different regulatory procedures necessary to operate in other countries. This is of the utmost importance, considering how different the politics toward crypto in Latin America are. Countries like El Salvador, Brazil, and Venezuela are more crypto-friendly, but others like Bolivia, Ecuador, or Chile have the opposite stance.
Marcos Galperin, CEO and founder of MercadoLibre, said via his official Twitter account that this new initiative would boost the company’s loyalty program and help “democratize financial inclusion in Latin America.”
Hoy lanzamos Mercado Coin en Brasil, dándole mayor impulso a nuestro programa de lealtad y dando otro paso para democratizar la inclusión financiera en América Latina.
MercadoLibre to create cryptocurrency as part of loyalty program https://t.co/7kanuk6GLh
— Marcos Galperin (@marcos_galperin) August 18, 2022