Argentina’s Ripio has acquired BitcoinTrade, the second-largest crypto exchange in Brazil, in a bid to increase its footprint across the frothy Latin American crypto market. 

Ripio (formerly called BitPagos) ended 2020 on a high, crossing the 1 million user milestone. Earlier last year, the firm began looking in earnest for a good fit in Brazil and decided on BitcoinTrade, said Ripio CEO and co-founder Sebastian Serrano. The financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Serrano also pointed to BitcoinTrade’s well-established banking relationships in Brazil, which includes accounts with Santander, Banco Itaú and Banco do Brasil. 

Brazil has the largest GDP in Latin America and seems to be a highly desirable virgin territory among South American and Central American crypto exchanges. Last month, Mexico City-based crypto exchange Bitso raised a $62 million funding round, a chunk of which was earmarked for a Brazil push, the company said. 

The firm, which now has over 150 employees in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico and Spain, has also raised capital from Draper Ventures, Pantera Capital and Digital Currency Group (which is also the owner of Coindesk). In terms of previous acquisitions, Ripio bought Unisend, another Latin American bitcoin exchange back in 2015.

BitcoinTrade founder Carlos Andre Montenegro will be stepping down from day-to-day duties of running an exchange to focus on running his family office. His role will be taken by Bernardo Teixeira, BitcoinTrade’s current CFO.


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Argentina's Ripio Acquires Second-Largest Crypto Exchange in Brazil

by Mario Herndon
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