Brazil’s Nubank launches its own cryptocurrency

abdelaziz Fathi

Nubank, the largest Brazilian digital bank, is set to roll out its own cryptocurrency in the first half of 2023 as part of a loyalty program.

Nubank

The currency, dubbed Nucoin, can be used to access discounts and other exclusive perks to holders of the token as “a new way to recognize customer loyalty and encourage engagement with Nubank products.”

The Sao Paulo-based fintech will invite 2,000 customers to use Nucoin during the trial period.  “In this phase, more than feedback, the proposal is to explore a decentralized process of product creation, characteristic of Web3,” Nubank said.

Nubank expects the cryptocurrency to be available to its users in Brazil by the end of H1 2023, and said it plans to introduce it in other countries soon without providing further details.

“The project is another step ahead in our belief in the transformative potential of blockchain technology and to democratize it even more, going beyond the purchase, sale and maintenance of cryptocurrencies in the Nu app,” Fernando Czapski, general manager for Nucoin at Nubank, said in a statement.

Earlier in July, Nubank revealed that it reached the mark of 1 million active users making low-cost cryptocurrency transactions, just two months after launching the service via partnership with Paxos.

Nubank, which is owned by Bitcoin critic Warren Buffet, has partnered with the New York-based stablecoin issuer Paxos for an exclusive in-app crypto trading experience. In particular, the US-listed broker’s customers are now able to buy, hold and sell a handful of crypto assets — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

Through Paxos, Nubank clients are able to trade cryptocurrency at a commission of just 0.12% – 0.18% of trade value, with a BRL $ 1.00 (~US $0.20) minimum per order. Plus, there are no added spreads, markups, or custody fees.

Nubank’s foray into the digital asset space is noteworthy due to the firm’s reputation for serving more sophisticated clients. The fintech – whose 50 million users make it one of the world’s largest digital banks – debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 in a listing that floated it as Latin America’s most valuable financial institution, worth $52 billion.

Although Nubank’s shares have taken a hit since then, the company is well-positioned for growth as Brazil alone accounts for more than a quarter of the $500 billion crypto market in Latin America.

 

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