Brazilian Crypto Firm 2TM Acquires Controlling Stake Over Portuguese CriptoLoja
Softbank-backed Brazilian firm 2TM will acquire a controlling stake in Lisbon-based crypto exchange CriptoLoja, as per the company's announcement.
2TM, which runs Latin America's largest cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin, is valued at roughly $2.2 billion.
The Brazilian company did not disclose the terms of the acquisition but said the transaction is pending approval with Portugal's central bank Banco de Portugal.
CriptoLoja began its operation since July 2021, after receiving Portugal's first official license as a virtual asset service provider in June 2021.
The Brazilian firm was successful in raising $200 million from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp for Mercado Bitcoin in a financing round in July 2021.
According to a July 5, 2021, report by Blockchain.News, Roberto Dagnoni, the CEO and Executive Chairman of 2TM Group, revealed that the cryptocurrency exchange plans to utilize the funds to ramp up its business activities, improve its crypto offerings, and make an investment in infrastructure, so that it might meet the increasing demand for cryptocurrency services in Brazil.
Dagnoni said in a statement that:
"Portugal is a strategic market for us, because it requires a specific license, is becoming an important hub for crypto in Europe and opens a gateway into the larger European market".
The Brazilian holding company has decided to start its expansion into Europe with an over-the-counter (OTC) operation in its second phase. The company intends to take the entire MercadoBitcoin.com platform to retail and institutional investors.
According to 2TM, CriptoLoja's founders Luís Gomes and Pedro Borges will remain co-leading of the business while also leading 2TM's expansion in Europe.
Currently, the crypto ecosystem is flourishing in Portugal, but it is still an emerging topic in the country.
According to Reuters, the Portuguese exchange is one of many acquisitions that 2TM is looking to undertake, not only in Europe but also in Latin America.
"We're looking at several jurisdictions where we can acquire companies that have already existing licenses or have filed for licenses," Daniel Carneiro da Cunha, 2TM's executive director, corporate development said, adding, "we will be looking at other jurisdictions as well to set up proprietary operations and through that be able to gain exposure to regulatory and existing licenses."
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