Mercado Bitcoin gets payment institution license in Brazil

abdelaziz Fathi

Latin America’s largest crypto exchange,, has obtained a Payment Institution License from the Central Bank of Brazil, the company said on Friday.

The license allows the company to continue offering regulated fiat wallet services in the country under the status of an electronic money issuer. The greenlight also enables Mercado Bitcoin to facilitate payment transactions and offer electronic money services in compliance with regulatory requirements set by the central bank.

“The central bank’s approval is an important step, as it allows us to continue with our business expansion plans to offer an even more complete experience to our customers,” Roberto Dagnoni, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin, said in a statement.

Mercado Pago, reportedly the largest online payment platform in Latin America, initially launched its crypto trading service in December 2021 in Brazil.  Further, in November 2022, it entered the Mexican market, where it says the first month of operation brought as many as 150 thousand users to the app.

Now, Mercado Pago is looking for a similar bump in Chile as the e-commerce platform proceeds with its gradual rollout in what the company’s President Osvaldo Gimenez calls “aggressive growth”.

The milestone comes shortly after Binance’s payment provider in Brazil, Latam Gateway, has been granted a similar license to function as a payment institution and electronic money issuer. The company serves as a facilitator for foreign companies looking to operate in the country by providing on/off-ramp services for the local currency.

Earlier in September, Binance suspended deposits and withdrawals in Brazilian reals through the government’s payment system Pix. The payments blockage coincided with the end of a deadline imposed by the Brazilain central bank for Pix providers to implement new “know your customer” requirements.

Brazil’s sizable market, boasting a population of nearly 214 million people, has become an attractive destination for cryptocurrency companies. Also expanding operations in the country is Coinbase. Earlier in March, the US major exchanges inked partnerships with local payment providers to facilitate crypto purchases and enable the deposit and withdrawal of funds in the local currency.

Brazilians have not missed the cryptocurrency trend and the country has been a hive of activity related to crypto assets. Within Latin America, the nation was the cryptocurrency ringleader both on the regulatory side and on the development side. As it now stands, the country’s financial watchdog, the CVM, bans regulated investment funds from trading in the virtual asset class.

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