Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global (COIN) is in talks to acquire 2TM, owner of Mercado Bitcoin, Brazil’s largest crypto exchange, the Estadão newspaper reported Sunday.
According to the report, which did not cite sources, negotiations between Coinbase and 2TM have been taking place since last year and an agreement could be announced in late April.
Mercado Bitcoin reached 3.2 million customers in 2021, of which 1.1 million were added last year, the company told CoinDesk recently, adding that its trading volume reached $7.1 billion in 2021.
In June, 2TM raised $200 million in a Series B funding round and $50 million in a second closing of the funding in November, which valued the company at $2.1 billion.
Amid a Brazilian crypto adoption boom that tripled stablecoin trading in 2021 over the previous year, global exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance and Crypto.com turned their attention to the Latin American country.
In November 2020, Coinbase announced the creation of an engineering hub in Brazil and opened different positions to expand its team there.
Binance, for its part, plans to acquire banks and payment processors in Brazil, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said on March 16 during a visit to Sao Paulo. That same month, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire Brazilian securities brokerage Sim;paul Investimentos.
2TM plans to grow in Latin America through acquisitions in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, 2TM CEO Roberto Dagnoni told CoinDesk. In January, the company acquired a controlling stake in CriptoLoja, Portugal’s first regulated crypto exchange.
In addition to being the owner of Mercado Bitcoin, 2TM also owns the companies Meubank, MB Digital Assets, Bitrust, Blockchain Academy and MezaPro.
According to Estadão, Coinbase also identified Mexican crypto exchange Bitso as an acquisition target, but apparently no deal was reached, the newspaper said.
Both Coinbase and Mercado Bitcoin did not immediately respond to CoinDesk’s queries.