MercadoLibre, the leading e-commerce platform in Argentina, has reported that its customers held $21 million in cryptocurrency assets as of September 2023, which is a significant increase from the $15 million reported in December of the previous year. This growth in customer crypto assets coincides with MercadoLibre's success in the e-commerce industry, with an annual revenue of $10 billion. The company's Q3 results exceeded expectations, with $3.8 billion in revenue and $685 million in profits, driven by its operations in Brazil and Mexico. MercadoLibre also introduced its own cryptoasset called Mercado Coin in Brazil, and started offering Bitcoin and Ethereum to its customers in December 2021. However, the earnings report did not provide details on the distribution of crypto assets among these different digital currencies. Argentina has experienced significant crypto adoption due to its high inflation rate, with ownership rates of digital assets at 23.5%, second only to Turkey. The country's government has had a mixed stance on cryptocurrency, warning about the risks in the past but also acknowledging the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in driving the economy. The Central Bank of Argentina recently prohibited financial payment service providers from offering cryptocurrency transactions to reduce the exposure of digital assets to the payment system.
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