Coinbase to reportedly buy the $2.2B Brazilian unicorn behind Mercado Bitcoin
Coinbase is set to continue its global acquisition strategy, reportedly buying the Brazilian company 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin.
According to information from Estadão, the third-largest newspaper read by Brazil’s 212 million populace, the Coinbase acquisition could be complete by next month. Negotiations for the purchase have been taking place over the course of 2022.
Mercado Bitcoin is Latin America’s largest crypto brokerage, whose parent company, 2TM cemented its unicorn status as a billion-dollar company in 2021. Valued at $2.2 billion, 2TM has also pursued an acquisition strategy, particularly in lusophone countries. 2TM’s Mercado Bitcoin snapped up Portuguese CriptoLoja, a Lisbon-based crypto exchange in January.
The 2TM holding company umbrella now covers Meubank, MB Digital Assets, CriptoLoja, Bitrust, Blockchain Academy, MezaPro, Wuzu and Portal do Bitcoin.
For Coinbase, the reported planned purchase of 2TM demonstrates that their global acquisition strategy is snowballing. Following the acquisition of an Indian AI startup to improve customer service as angry feedback from customers proved too much, the San-Francisco-based exchange also recently purchased blockchain-infrastructure platform Bison Trails.
Coinbase’s most recent institutional investor report from Coinbase on Latin America, “crypto in Latam”, mentions Brazil 31 times, while Mexico (with a larger GDP but plenty of crypto interest) was mentioned just 17.
The report states that in Brazil:
“Direct crypto trading is growing rapidly. Locally based crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin has seen transaction volumes increase seven-fold year-on-year to August.”
A keystone of the group’s Latam expansion plans, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange has also been on the lookout for business development managers and executives as part of a Brazilian hiring spree.
It’s no surprise why; Brazil is a hotbed for Bitcoin adoption. The capital, Rio de Janeiro will accept crypto for certain taxes in 2023, and according to triple-A, more than 10 million Brazilians own cryptocurrencies.
Please note, Cointelegraph reached out to Coinbase, 2TM and Estadão for comment and will update where possible.