🌎 Latam Crypto Report #8: Binance and Mastercard to axe card partnership
Also: Binance launches transfer service; Circle launches USDC via Mercado Pago in Chile; possible Tether bitcoin mining operation in Paraguay
¡Hola a todos! 👋
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Latam Crypto Report.
I’m Kristin Majcher, a freelance journalist based in Bogotá, Colombia. You’re reading the 🌎Latam Crypto Report, a sister newsletter to Aaron Stanley’s Brazil Crypto Report.
This week we’ll dive into the news that Binance and Mastercard are ending their card partnership, and examine Binance’s new crypto transfer service in the region. We’ll also look into Circle’s partnership with Mercado Pago in Chile. Then, we’ll go over our usual rundown of news items by country.
As always, thanks for reading. If you found this content to be helpful, please share this newsletter with friends and be sure to subscribe👇
Binance says goodbye to Mastercard partnership, launches remittance service
Binance leads the headlines this week with two news items. Mastercard and Binance will reportedly end their crypto card partnership, and the global crypto platform launched a new crypto transfer service in the region.
Binance and Mastercard to end crypto card partnership
Binance and Mastercard will end their crypto card partnership on September 22, CoinTelegraph and others reported.
The news affects cards from Binance and Mastercard issued in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain.
Cardholders use the cards to spend money in local currencies while funding those purchases with their Binance crypto balance.
The companies did not give specifics on why they are ending the program. However, Bloomberg noted that Mastercard and Visa are distancing themselves from the crypto company at a time when it faces regulatory issues in several jurisdictions.
Binance Launches ‘Send Cash’ crypto transfer service
Days after news broke about the card partnership ending, Binance announced it is launching a new crypto transfer product in nine Latin American countries.
The crypto transfer product called “Send Cash” will allow people to send crypto to friends and families’ bank accounts through Binance Pay and licensed service providers.
Send Cash will be available for use in nine countries, Binance said. These include: Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico.
In the first stage of the rollout, people with bank accounts in Colombia and Argentina can receive funds from those countries.
Send Cash will have the “lowest cost in the market” according to Binance.
Circle and Mercado Pago to offer USDC in Chile
Circle partnered with e-commerce giant Mercado Pago to provide Chile-based customers access to its dollar-pegged stablecoin, USDC. Mercado Pago Senior Director Matías Spagui said:
“The US dollar is one of the most stable currencies in the world and a simple vehicle to ensure wealth preservation amidst general uncertainty. With the launch of this stablecoin we seek to diversify access to cryptocurrencies and offer the more than two million Mercado Pago users an alternative that matches the value of the dollar.”
🗞 Latin America Crypto News Rundown
Here’s where we break down Latin America crypto headlines from the past few weeks, organized by country and region. If you don’t see a country listed, it’s simply due to the news flow during a particular week.
Latin American citizens received $562 billion worth of digital currencies between mid-2021 and mid- 2022, Circle pointed out in a new report about the region’s crypto efforts. (Circle)
Ripio Ventures is on the hunt for up to 10 “super early” projects to launch under its new accelerator program focused on the new LaChain blockchain. (Ripio CEO Sebastián Serrano via X)
Cryptoconexion’s Mónica Talán offers insights on the potential of Web3 in Latin America. (Contxto)
Home bitcoin mining can still be profitable in Latin America — here’s why. (Bloomberg Línea)
Deel’s Chief Operating Office Dan Westgarth explains why Latin America’s workers want to be paid in crypto. (Rest of World)
Here’s how Latin American citizens are using crypto in their everyday lives. (Contxto)
Tech experts from the law firm Dentons discuss the outlook for cryptocurrency regulations in Latin America. (Dentons)
Ámbito provides an update on the forces shaping crypto regulations in Argentina. (Ámbito)
The price of bitcoin hit a record high in Argentina after pro-bitcoin Javier Milei won the presidential primary. The winner will be decided in October. (BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, Decrypt, Portal do Bitcoin)
Ripio CEO Sebastián Serrano explains the economic factors prompting Argentines to use its new dollar-pegged stablecoin, the Criptodólar. (Valor Econômico)
Hackers broke into Argentina’s retiree services database last month, demanding a ransom of $650,000 in bitcoin and releasing 1.6 million files onto the dark web after it didn’t receive the amount, BeInCrypto reported. (BeInCrypto, CNN, CoinTelegraph)
Colombia’s central bank found that introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would not represent significant macroeconomic risks, but thinks setting limits on transactions could have benefits. (CoinTelegraph)
Police in Paraguay arrested a group of Argentine and Chinese nationals over an operation to launder money in Paraguay on the border with Brazil. (Livecoins)
Tether is rumored to be setting up a new bitcoin mining farm in Paraguay using energy from the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, CoinTelegraph Brasil exclusively reported. The company has committed to launching a mining operation in Latin America, but has not disclosed the location specifics. Tether CTO Paulo Ardoino explained:
“The site is going well, everyone on the team is super excited and working around the clock to start operations in the coming weeks.” (CoinTelegraph)
Central America & Mexico
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Google Cloud is planning to open an office in El Salvador, thanks to a seven-year government partnership pending approval. The news has prompted discussion about to what extent the country’s move to make bitcoin legal tender could have inspired the news. (Reuters, CoinTelegraph, BeInCrypto)
CoinDesk’s Jonathan Martin reports from El Salvador about the role of the Lightning Network in bitcoin’s adoption there. (CoinDesk)
Nearly 250 high school students in Mexico are studying crypto, thanks to El Salvador-based NGO Mi Primer Bitcoin. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Popular online food store Market & More now accepts bitcoin payments. (BeInCrypto)