Cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin was granted a payment provider license from Brazil’s central bank on June 2, according to local media reports. With the license, the company will launch its fintech solution MB Pay.
“The approval of the Central Bank is a crucial step, as it allows us to continue expanding our business and providing a better service to our customers,” said Roberto Dagnoni, CEO of 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin.
As a payment institution, MB Pay can provide Brazilian users with specific digital banking services using crypto assets held on the exchange, such as digital fixed-income investments, staking and other financial transactions. A debit card offering a crypto off-ramp for users is expected to go live soon.
Previously, traditional local broker Guide Investimentos also announced a partnership with Mercado Bitcoin to enter the digital asset market.
Mercado Bitcoin’s fintech rollout had been planned for 2021 but was delayed due to the regulator’s approval process. The development came on the same day Mercado Bitcoin was ordered to return over 2,182 Bitcoin (BTC) — worth $59.3 million at the time of writing — back to a group of investors, alleging that a co-founder and former executive had withheld funds in a fabricated hack in 2013.
A vibrant demand for digital solutions and a population of almost 214 million have drawn crypto firms to the Latin American country. Binance has previously ranked Brazil among its top global markets. Its local partner, Latam Gateway, was also granted a payment provider license in the country on May 19.
Other crypto exchanges licensed as payment providers in Brazil include Crypto.com and Bitso.
Coinbase is also expanding operations in the country. Since March, the American exchange has partnered with local payment providers to offer crypto purchases, and enable deposits and withdrawals in the local currency.