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Mexican Bitcoin Exchange MeXBT Eyes Latin American Trade and Remittances

(@tanayamacheel) | Published on November 2, 2014 at 21:00 BST

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Mexican cryptocurrency exchange meXBT announced the official launch of its professional trading platform in Las Vegas this Sunday at Money 20/20, one of the largest and most prominent conferences for payments and financial services innovation worldwide.

The company showcased its service in combination with AlphaPoint, the exchange technology solutions provider that powers the platform and user experience, allowing meXBT to focus on its broader and longer-term ambitions to expand within its home market of Mexico and Latin America. AlphaPoint provides the infrastructure for the exchange back-end, removing the need to hire developers.

COO and cofounder Joel Cano called Money 20/20 an ideal setting in which to debut meXBT as it extends beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to banking and FinTech.

“In order for us to be successful in this market in Latin America we have to think outside of the bitcoin community,” he said. “We have to think as a solution for people that might have searched for banking solutions but haven’t found what works for them.”

MeXBT differentiates itself from other startups in Mexico and the bitcoin ecosystem in that it is more concentrated on developing partnerships and relationships with regional banks and payment processors, among other efforts for market penetration, than it is on refining the immediate solution – the trading platform – which it leaves to AlphaPoint.

Focusing on usability

CEO and founder Gabriel Miron told CoinDesk that the team spent six months talking to white-label exchange companies and even started working with a few, but didn’t manage to see a product through until it met with AlphaPoint. Now, he said, he believes meXBT “has the best technology in Latin America”.

Users are required to verify their accounts before they can be active on meXBT, but when they have, they can deposit Mexican, Colombian and Chilean pesos, US dollars, Brazilian reals and Peruvian nuevo sols through cash deposit, wire transfer or payment processor, depending on the currency. They can only cash out in dollars or Mexican pesos.

“When we started this we decided that our main focus was going to … make it simple enough that new users can come into cryptocurrencies,” said Miron. “Being in Latin America, that was kind of a challenge, so we really try and focus on usability.”

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Once logged in, users are able to withdraw, deposit, buy or sell using the options menu at the top of the page. Traders can buy bitcoin or litecoin at market price, or place limit orders if they prefer.

The platform has also integrated Coinapult’s LOCKS tool to tie the value of cryptocurrency to another asset, thereby protecting its underlying value from price volatility.

Market opportunities

Miron said that meXBT, while interested in speculation and the ability to move money quickly, its real focus is on its own business in its home market  specifically, remittances for consumers and international commerce for businesses.

AlphaPoint CEO Vadim Telyatnikov said that remittances could be bitcoin's best value proposition and that he's excited to see how meXBT can bring such services to the Latin American region:

“Remittance could be that early killer app and meXBT is perfectly positioned to enable remittances to and from Latin America through their local relationships.”

Cano added that the company’s banking partnerships are critical to the success of bitcoin and of meXBT in Mexico and Latin America, saying:

“I think we are using the leverage of a great technology company and doing what we do best in local markets, which is expanding the market and making sure the customer has a great user experience.”

Mexico leads in both remittances and international trade, Cano pointed out. Remittance flows to Latin America totalled almost $54bn last year. In 2012, Mexico alone accounted for about $23bn. Latin America also exported $1.12tn last year, he said citing World Bank numbers, of which $380bn came from Mexico.

Image via Shutterstock

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