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Brazilian crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin Secures $200M from SoftBank

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The Brazilian Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem is flourishing. Despite a rather inconsistent framework, capital inflow into the country’s cryptocurrency platforms continued and has not faced any hindrance even in the face of a market-wide rout. In the latest development, Brazil’s largest crypto exchange, Mercado Bitcoin has reportedly secured a $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund. Interestingly, the latest fundraise event depicts the largest Series B round in the history of Latin America’s history as well as SoftBank’s largest investment in a cryptocurrency firm in the region. With this investment,  Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company, 2TM Group now values at $2.1 billion, thereby making it the eighth most valuable unicorn in Latin America.

Mercado Bitcoin aims to deploy the fund secured in the series B round in the platform’s infrastructure, which will allow it to revamp and scale to cater the rising demand for the blockchain-based financial market. Along the same line, Roberto Dagnoni, Executive Chairman & CEO of 2TM Group, was quoted saying,

“Millions of people around the world are realizing that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are both innovative technologies and efficient stores of value – Brazil is no exception to that trend.”

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Dagnoni also went on to add,

“I am thrilled to have the SoftBank Latin America Fund support to help us to realize our vision, thanks to the unparalleled combination of their financial expertise, in-depth industry experience, and extensive regional footprint.”

According to Gustavo Chamati, who happens to the Co-Founder and Board Member of Mercado Bitcoin’s, the crypto exchange had emerged as one of the trusted crypto brand in Brazil and also admitted in playing a part in developing a scalable market infrastructure. Chamati asserte that this positioning has enabled the team to capitalize on the surging interest in cryptocurrencies in both Brazil and Latin America. As a result, the platform had been able to grow and expand its market share over the past year.

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Beside, the funding comes just months after Mercado Bitcoin’s concluded Series A round for an undisclosed amount in the beginning of the year, which was led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures, and also saw the participation from HS Investimentos, Gear Ventures, Evora among others.

Bitcoin and crypto booming in Brazil

The Sao Paulo-based Mercado Bitcoin had recently reported clocking in over $5 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone, the advantage being the bull market. This dwarfed the previous trading volume of $1.2 billion that was registered for all of 2020.

Bitcoin’s appeal in the country was also reflected in Bitcoin ETF that went live last month.

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Unsurpsingly, the demand and interest has reached unprecedented levels in Brazil as it is for most of part of the world. Regulatory entities in the country, however, have yet to catch up. For instance, the crypto industry in Brazil remains largely unregulated even today. Due to those regulatory uncertainty in the country, crypto business have suffurred a lot lately. One of the major factors was the local banks reluctance to work with crypto platform.

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s are now selling ‘way more’ US Dollars to buy Bitcoin

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El Salvador’s mainstream Bitcoin (BTC) adoption gains momentum during the ongoing bull run as citizens increasingly exchange their United States dollar savings for Bitcoin. 

President Nayib Bukele shared this new development on Twitter based on the data acquired from El Salvador’s in-house wallet service, Chivo. President Bukele said:

“People are inserting way more USD (to buy #BTC) than what they are withdrawing from the Chivo ATMs.”

He also urged media outlets to independently confirm the above information by visiting the ATMs. President Bukele further stated that Chivo has reported 24,076 remittance requests “adding up to $3,069,761.05 in one day.”

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The increase in USD to Bitcoin conversions within the jurisdiction reflects a change in investor sentiment, which initially faced resistance during adoption from the general public. Moreover, the Salvadorean government offers various subsidies for using Bitcoin such as fuel subsidies and tax exemptions. 

El Salvador has installed over 200 ATMs after adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender, making it the third-largest network of crypto ATMs after the United States and Canada.

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A Cointelegraph report shows that El Salvador exceeded United Kingdom’s crypto ATM count after deploying 205 crypto ATMs, mainly to facilitate local Bitcoin transactions and Bitcoin to U.S. dollars conversions.

Recently, the Salvadorean government announced to build a $4 million veterinary hospital using the profits attained during the Bitcoin bull market. According to President Bukele, the veterinary hospital will host four operating rooms, four emergency clinics, 19 offices, and a rehabilitation area: “We decided to invest a part of that money in this: a veterinary hospital for our furry friends.”

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Why Bitcoin ETF Is Such A Big Deal and May Push Bitcoin Above $100k?

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Amid a global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies, the U.S. SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) has come as a pleasant surprise to the Bitcoin community. The most awaited ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is reportedly launching as early as Monday, October 18. This ETF is going to be traded with a ticker symbol of BITO and will track Bitcoin futures.

Bitcoin rallies towards $100K

Instead of achieving regulatory green light, Bitcoin price crossed $62K this morning with a slight correction, BTC continued to stand strong at $61.5K, at the time of reporting. The market is raging with speculation of Bitcoin crossing $100K with this ETF. The timing could not have been better as the fourth quarter has commenced the holiday season bull run, with trader bonuses flooding in as cryptocurrencies take to an upward graph. Since the beginning of October, when the potential BTC ETF began gaining mass traction, the impact on Bitcoin prices also became evident.

According to a Bloomberg report, this Bitcoin ETF will further the institutional adoption of the decentralized sphere, specifically focused on Bitcoin. “An ETF should provide greater ease-of-use for retail investors looking to ride Bitcoin’s often hair-raising ups and downs. Like securities tracking oil and gold, it will change hands on relatively familiar U.S. stock-market venues, rather than in cryptocurrency or futures exchanges whose workings are imposing to some users.”

Regulatory approval can make or break a token

The frequently validated fact that regulatory approval radically helps the growth of cryptocurrencies, despite it being a decentralized and unregulated market, continues to gain credibility. XRP is one of the most prominent examples of how drowning in a regulatory puddle may keep certain tokens into a bear rut, while the rest of the industry leaps into the bullish phase. Due to the ongoing XRP lawsuit against Ripple, the XRP community continues to suffer as the fourth quarter has not helped XRP so far. The community blames the SEC for stretching the lawsuit intentionally so that XRP skips this bull run.

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U.S. Patriotism Could Help Bitcoin Surpass $100,000, Says Bloomberg Analyst

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Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone, who has been predicting the price of bitcoin will go over $100,000 per coin, has revealed he believes U.S. patriotism could help the flagship cryptocurrency hit six figures.

In a tweet, McGlone revealed that U.S: patriotism could help the cryptocurrency’s price move up as the U.S.’s dollar dominance, tax revenue, and other factors could lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to trade on U.S. exchanges.

In the tweet, the analyst pointed out that the most important reason for his belief is that it counters China’s response to the cryptocurrency space, which was a recent all-out ban that forced cryptocurrency mining operations and exchanges to move out of the country.

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Notably, Bloomberg has reported that the SEC is set to allow bitcoin futures ETFs to begin trading, citing people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named that claimed the regulator “isn’t likely to block the products from starting to trade next week.”

Its sources point out that,  unlike other Bitcoin ETF applicants, proposals by ProShares and Invesco are based on futures contracts and were filed under mutual fund rules that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said provide “significant investor protections.”

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A Bitcoin ETF approval in the U.S. would be the culmination of a nearly decade-long campaign to list such a product. Crypto advocates have been looking to list it ever since Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the founder of the Gemini exchange, filed the first Bitcoin ETF application in 2013.

Approval has, for years, been out of the grasp of issuers who have tried a variety of different methods to get a Bitcoin ETF out on the market. The SEC has in the past expressed concern prices could be manipulated in the crypto space and that liquidity may be insufficient.

Supporting the rumors that a bitcoin futures ETF is set to be listed in the near future was a tweet published by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, informing investors that before they bet on a fund holding bitcoin futures contract they must carefully weigh potential risks and benefits.

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McGlone, it’s worth noting, has in the past said BTC’s price correction earlier this year was due to its excessive energy use, but noted the move represented “the strength of the world’s largest decentralized network,” before adding its energy use is getting greener.

In November of last year, McGlone accurately predicted that bitcoin would break its previous all-time high of $20,000 and surpass its former all-time high in 2021.  This year, BTC hit a new $64,000 all-time before dropping to a $30,000 low and recovering.

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