Mercado Bitcoin operator acquires Portuguese crypto exchange

Brazilian
2TM
Group,
the
operator
of
Latin
America’s
largest
cryptocurrency
exchange,
Mercado
Bitcoin,
is
moving
to
expand
its
global
footprint
with
a
strategic
acquisition
in
Portugal.

The
company
officially

announced

Wednesday
the
acquisition
of
a
controlling
stake
in
CriptoLoja,
a
Lisbon-based
crypto
exchange

licensed

by
the
Portuguese
central
bank.

Subject
to
approval
by
Banco
de
Portugal,
the
new
deal
intends
to
help
2TM
start
its
expansion
into
Europe
with
over-the-counter
exchange
services.
The
company
also
plans
to
offer
the
services
of
Mercado
Bitcoin
to
retail
and
institutional
investors
in
Portugal.

“We
will
access
the
European
market
using
the
clear
synergies
with
our
presence
in
Latin
America,
as
we
share
the
same
language,
a
recognized
brand,
and
cross-sell
opportunities
for
customers.
There
are
many
Brazilians
living
in
Portugal
who
would
love
to
invest
through
our
platform,”
2TM
CEO
Roberto
Dagnoni
said.

Dagnoni
said
that
the
new
acquisition
had
become
possible
after
several
major
funding
rounds
in
2021,
in
which
2TM
raised
over
$250
million
from

investors
such
as
the
Japanese
financial
giant
SoftBank
,
bringing
its

valuation
to
more
than
$2
billion

by
November.

“Crypto
is
a
global
business.
Portugal
is
a
strategic
market
for
us
because
it
requires
a
specific
license,
is
becoming
an
important
hub
for
crypto
in
Europe
and
opens
a
gateway
into
the
larger
European
market,”
Dagnoni
noted.



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funded
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According
to
the
announcement,
CriptoLoja
founders
Luís
Gomes
and
Pedro
Borges
will
remain
co-heads
of
the
business
while
assisting
2TM’s
expansion
in
Europe.
“Cryptocurrencies
are
still
an
emerging
topic
in
the
country.
All
the
virtual
assets
such
as
Bitcoin
and
Ether
are
generating
a
revolution
and
considerable
demand,”
Borges
stated.

Portugal
has
been
hailed
as
a
crypto-friendly
jurisdiction
as
its
authorities
have pushed
for
technological
free
zones

for
fintech
development
and
innovation
in
the
country.
Last
year,
the
central
bank
of
Portugal

licensed

three
crypto
exchange
businesses:
CriptoLoja,
Luso
Digital
Assets
and
Mind
The
Coin.

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