In what it calls a bid to “further democratize new technologies such as blockchain and web3,” Brazilian digital bank Nubank is releasing its own cryptocurrency.
According to a Wednesday (Oct. 19) post on the company blog, “Nucoin” will be available to all of the bank’s customers beginning next year.
Once unveiled, the cryptocurrency will “be the basis for creating a rewards program,” Nubank said, with customers who accumulate the currency earning benefits such as discounts. Eventually, the bank hopes that nucoins will be traded in the cryptocurrency market.
Learn more: MercadoLibre Launches Cryptocurrency in Brazil
The announcement comes two months after Latin American eCommerce giant MercadoLibre launched its cryptocurrency in Brazil, dubbed MercadoCoin, which also debuted in connection with that company’s loyalty program.
Customers can earn the coins as cash back when buying products on the MercadoLibre eCommerce platform. From there, they can use the digital currency to make new purchases or trade it on MercadoPago, the company’s financial services operation.
PYMNTS noted last month that some people in Latin America have begun to use cryptocurrency to access credit as borrowing money becomes more difficult.
The problem has become especially apparent as interest rates and inflation continue to rise. Brazil’s inflation rate was at 13.75% in September, while Argentina’s inflation is the highest on the planet, hovering around 80% in recent weeks.
That’s led to more growth for crypto platforms, which can offer as much as 50% lower rates and no maintenance fees.
Canadian lending platform Ledn, which has been done business in Latin America since 2019, is among the companies benefitting. The region makes up half of the loans the company issues. Company co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Mauricio Di Bartolomeo said that the advent of cryptocurrencies in Latin America has made it so “people had to sell their bitcoins to spend on their daily lives.”
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