Bitcoin payments is gradually becoming one of the standardized payment options among various ecommerce websites and merchants. Keeping up with the increasing trend of bitcoin payments, various payment processors have now started to offer support for bitcoin payments as well. MercadoLibre, the Latin American ecommerce platform recently became the latest member to join the club by enabling bitcoin payments on their platform.
MercadoLibre, meaning free market in Spanish is an Argentinian online marketplace offering ecommerce and online auction services to sellers. Built along the similar lines as eBay, MercadoLibre has a widespread presence across Spanish speaking nations including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Payments on MercadoLibre are processed by the company’s own payment processing platform called MercadoPago. Now, MercadoLibre users can choose to pay with bitcoin through MercadoPago while shopping on the platform. MercadoPago is eBay’s equivalent of PayPal on MercadoLibre platform. The company recently communicated the integration of bitcoin payments to its users over an email.
According to reports, the company has not yet released the list of countries supporting bitcoin payments on its MercadoPago platform. While users get an additional payment option, merchants won’t find much difference in the process as the settlement process will still remain the same and the only indication of the user paying in bitcoin will be a mention of it in their account transaction history.
MercadoLibre has beat eBay in the race to integrate bitcoin payment options, in spite of eBay’s CEO John Donahoe (Currently PayPal’s Chairman, Board of Director – eBay and Intel) expressing interest in bitcoin over two years ago. EBay also happens to be one of the main investors in MercadoLibre. It owns an 18 percent stake in the company.
MercadoLibre’s move to integrate bitcoin payments comes at the right time when people in Latin American nations are moving towards bitcoin as an alternative currency due to weakening economy and rising inflation.