According to Ripio CEO Sebastian Serrano, the Latin American Bitcoin and cryptocurrency platform has started distributing prepaid debit cards in Brazil that support Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments. Additionally, the card offers up to 5% cashback rewards in Bitcoin (BTC).

By the end of the year, Ripio plans to distribute up to 250,000 cards to their one million Brazilian customers, which were developed in collaboration with Visa. The company also noted that the digital version of the card is already available for use.

According to the company, the card will support payments in Brazilian reals, Bitcoin, and a number of other cryptocurrencies that Ripio has listed on its platform. Serrano added that the company intends to introduce the card in Argentina later this year. The company is also considering offering the card to customers in other countries it conducts business in like Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain.

In Brazil, Ripio currently operates under its own brand as well as BitcoinTrade, a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange it acquired in January 2021 with approximately 300,000 users at the time. The company plans for BitcoinTrade to be renamed as Ripio before the end of 2022.

In a Series B funding round headed by blockchain investment firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) in September of last year, the company raised $50 million. Serrano explained that Ripio has no plans to raise additional funds in 2022, and also noted that while there were no layoffs this year, the company did slow its hiring rate at the beginning of November 2021.

According to Serrano, Ripio currently has a combined 3.5 million users in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. He stated that the company intends to launch operations in Chile by the end of 2022 and open offices in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay the following year.

Serrano stated that Ripio is not ruling out strategic acquisitions to accelerate the company’s expansion in Latin America, but he did not provide any further information on the topic.

With 3.8 million users, the Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin dominates the regional market. However, other platforms that offer Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services in the country continue to gain more customers as adoption increases. 

Fintech companies like Mercado Libre and Nubank revealed that they each surpassed one million Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users in Brazil. Latin American Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Bitso was also able to reach that milestone in 2022.

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