Brazil’s 2TM Group, the operator of Mercado Bitcoin, Latin America’s largest crypto exchange, is expanding its worldwide footprint with the strategic acquisition of CriptoLoja in Portugal.
The company announced the purchase of a controlling stake in CriptoLoja, a Lisbon-based cryptocurrency exchange approved by the Portuguese central bank, on Wednesday.
The new agreement, which is subject to approval by Banco de Portugal, aims to assist 2TM in launching its over-the-counter exchange services in Europe. Mercado Bitcoin will also be available to individual and institutional investors in Portugal, according to the business.
“We will enter the European market by leveraging clear synergies with our Latin American presence, such as a common language, a well-known brand, and cross-selling potential for customers.”
Many Brazilians living in Portugal would be interested in investing through 2TM’s platform, according to 2TM CEO Roberto Dagnoni.
According to Dagnoni, the new acquisition was made possible by multiple big investment rounds in 2021, in which 2TM raised more than $250 million from investors such as SoftBank, bringing its valuation to more than $2 billion by November.
“Crypto is a worldwide industry. Portugal is a critical market for us since it requires a specific license, is rapidly growing as a crypto hub in Europe, and provides a backdoor into the greater European market,” Dagnoni explained.
The founders of CriptoLoja, Luis Gomes and Pedro Borges, will remain co-heads of the company while aiding 2TM’s expansion in Europe, according to the release. “Cryptocurrencies are still a new topic in the country,” says the author. “All virtual assets, such as Bitcoin and Ether, are causing a revolution and significant demand,” said Borges.
Portugal has been lauded as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, with the country’s government pushing for technical free zones to foster fintech development and innovation. CriptoLoja, Luso Digital Assets, and Mind The Coin were among three crypto exchanges licensed by Portugal’s central bank last year.