(Bloomberg) -- Nu Holdings Ltd., a Brazilian digital bank backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., partnered with blockchain startup Paxos Trust Co. to allow its customers to trade cryptocurrencies.
Nubank’s more than 50 million customers will initially be able to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum as of Wednesday, according to Paxos Chief Executive Michael Coscetta. Paxos has seen demand increase for digital assets in Brazil and that the move will create more financial inclusion for Nubank’s customers by giving them access to more payment methods, he said.
“You’ll see a lot more desire to participate [in crypto] not just in Brazil, but across Latin America,” Coscetta said in an interview.
Nubank will gradually roll out crypto trading to its entire costumer base by the end of June, the Sao Paulo-based firm said in a statement. Nu Holdings also buy Bitcoin equivalent to as much as 1% of its balance sheet cash position, the firm said in the same statement, without providing an exact figure.
Latin America has been an area of focus for crypto companies. Coinbase Global Inc. planned to acquire Brazilian crypto brokerage 2TM Participacoes SA before the deal fell apart. However, the US crypto exchange said it is committed to the Brazilian market. Paxos also provides crypto services to Mercado Libre Inc., an Argentinian online marketplace.
Coscetta said there’s also been interest in Latin America in terms of increasing access to digital dollars. He said that Paxos, which issues Pax Dollar, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, is interested in adding access to the currency on Nubank’s platform.
In addition to Nubank, Paxos works with other publicly traded companies, including PayPal Holdings Inc., Interactive Brokers LLC and Mastercard Inc. Nubank has lost more than a third of its market value less than five months after going public and faces pressure from the end of a stock lockup on May 17 that will allow $26 billion worth of its shares to be publicly traded.
(Adds comment from Nubank in the fourth paragraph.)
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