Brazil is the sixth largest country by population, with more than 214 million people. Of that population, it is estimated that more than 34 million people do not have access to banking services. MercadoPago, the financial services arm of MercadoLibre, works to solve this challenge by offering the banked, unbanked and underbanked crucial financial services from the ease of one app. Today, MercadoPago is becoming the first fintech to make crypto easily accessible for all Brazilians.
In December, MercadoPago will offer its Brazilian customers the opportunity to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum and the Paxos-issued US dollar-backed stablecoin USDP. The offering is fully powered by Paxos’ leading blockchain infrastructure and our turnkey solution powering crypto for the largest tech companies and financial institutions in the world.
MercadoPago’s launch will have a similar impact as PayPal’s enablement in late 2020. Millions of people can now buy cryptocurrency for as little as BR$1 within an application they use and trust. The launch demonstrates MercadoLibre’s commitment to financial inclusion and will accelerate the democratization of financial services in Latin America. And as Paxos infrastructure underpins the product, customer assets are safeguarded by the leading Trust company for digital assets globally.
Importantly, this news from MercadoLibre and MercadoPago represents the single largest enablement of stablecoins within a non-crypto wallet to date. Any Brazilian user looking to hold US Dollars can now do so seamlessly within MercadoPago by getting USDP. Stablecoins will revolutionize financial services, but they are still relatively niche with limited use cases at scale. As the global demand for USD increases, MercadoPago and Paxos have created the easiest way for Brazilians to get and hold USD with the native Brazilian Real. This means millions of seamless on and off ramps are now available, leading to more connectivity and mainstream use cases of stablecoins in the near future.
This year brought mainstream cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption unlike ever before and consumer interest will only continue to grow. More companies will follow in the footsteps of tech giants like PayPal and MercadoLibre because there is significant value to opening financial markets. The promise of blockchain technology is becoming a reality to an entire new region of users. Populations typically excluded from the financial system can now access this new market on an equal playing field. And with the combination of crypto and USDP, it means these users can now quickly, safely, and affordably get USDP and invest in crypto for the first time.