MercadoLibre, a Latin American e-commerce giant with a presence in nearly 20 countries, recently started warning users that cryptocurrency-related listings will be banned from its platform. The company made the announcement just days after receiving a $750 million investment from PayPal.
$22 Billion Latin American E-Commerce Giant Bans Crypto Listings
The e-commerce retailer’s move comes as it also cracks down on pre-paid cards and digital currencies used in games. The measure will take effect from March 19 onward, according to an email the company has been sending its vendors.
MercadoLibre will bar users from selling cryptocurrency on its platform. | Source: MercadoLibre/Criptomoedas Facil
In the email, MercadoLibre notes that the vendor has listings related to cryptocurrencies or pre-paid cards for games and asks them to finalize them as soon as possible, as they’ll be automatically dropped on March 19.
Local news outlet Criptomoedas Fácil reports that in Brazil alone – one of the 18 countries MercadoLibre serves – there are over 5,630 bitcoin-related ads and over 9,320 cryptocurrency-related listings. Ripple (XRP), reportedly the most popular cryptocurrency on the Latin American platform, appears in more than 11,100 ads.
Last year, a bitcoin wallet and merchant processing service called Ripio entered a partnership with MercadoLibre, so the platform could allow its users to withdraw received funds directly in bitcoin. Both MercadoLibre and Ripio are Argentine firms.
Why the e-commerce retailer is dropping cryptocurrency-related listings is currently unclear. Platforms that have banned ads and products related to the crypto space in the past pointed to various reasons revolving around fraud, potential illicit activities, and user security.