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Bitcoin lending startup Bitbond is seeking to gain traction in Portugal and Brazil as it looks to grow its user base in 2016.

The Berlin-based company, which has raised €800,000 ($870,000) in two public funding rounds, is currently competing against startups such as BitLendingClub and BTCJam in the peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin lending market, as well as as against other FinTech alternatives.

Bitbond cited the high number of small businesses, high barriers to working capital and informal reports of bitcoin's growing traction as an investment vehicle in the country. According to its estimates, 600 of its 23,000 users are already living in Brazil and Portugal.

The company has hired a new team member to help translate the Bitbond website into Portuguese and assist it as it looks to “overcome the language and culture hurdles” inherent in this strategy.

“This appointment is indicative of the huge potential these countries have and Bitbond's desire to bring our product to key markets,” Bitbond’s online marketing manager, Chris Grundy, told CoinDesk.

The news comes as lawmakers in Brazil continue to meet and discuss regulation and local universities have begun experimenting with the emerging technology.

Brazil image via Shutterstock

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