Ripio, a digital asset company based in Argentina, has purchased major Brazilian crypto exchange BitcoinTrade.

According to Argentine newspaper Ambito, the acquisition is part of Ripio’s plan to spread across South America. BitcoinTrade is reportedly the second-largest crypto exchange in the country by volume.

Ripio CEO and co-founder Sebastián Serrano said it made the purchase to “expand access to the world of digital assets” in the region.

"We are convinced that Ripio is the best company to extend the path we are building with BitcoinTrade in Brazil,” said BitcoinTrade founder Carlos Andre Montenegro.

Founded in 2013, Ripio claims to be one of the largest crypto exchanges in South America, with employees based in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Spain. The company launched a crypto trading platform with over-the-counter services in 2019, and was named as one of the World Economic Forum’s Tech Pioneers last year.

In November, an Argentine lawmaker proposed legislation to provide a national framework for crypto in the country. The bill is intended to address “very arbitrary rules” governing Argentina’s crypto ecosystem.