Latin America’s Leading Online Marketplace Turns to Bitcoin

MercadoLibre, one of the Latin America’s leading online marketplaces, has announced its plans to integrate Bitcoin into its payments platform MercadoPago.

The announcement arrived in an email to users, describing how MercadoLibre is working towards introducing innovative and easy payment methods for its customers. While stating that Bitcoin would keep its merchants’ “one foot in future”, the e-commerce marketplace promised transparency and speediness in its new payment option.

However, the mail shied away from mentioning the countries in which the Bitcoin payment button will be available. MercadoLibre currently has presence in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, and other Latin American nations. Interestingly, this region has been termed as “a dynamic hotbed” for Bitcoin businesses, considering its poor economic situations that are turning people away from using national currencies.

Being a currency based on a decentralized model, Bitcoin evidently emerges as a natural alternative to these debt-struck nations. The decision of MercadoLibre arguably comes at a time when people are looking for alternative methods — besides US dollar — to conduct real-time trade settlements. Unlike its fiat counterpart, Bitcoin can be purchased, traded and sold easily.

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