Mexican Crypto Exchange Bitso Incorporates Circle Solutions for Cross-Border Payments Initiative

The Bitso Shift initiative will allow Mexican businesses to make cross-border transactions more securely and easily.

Nov 18, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 18, 2021 at 4:02 p.m. UTC

Bitso is integrating Circle’s payment system to make it easier and more secure for Mexican residents and businesses to execute cross-border payments to and from the U.S., the company said Thursday.

Circle will provide the infrastructure to enable these payments as part of the exchange’s Bitso Shift initiative, which is designed to improve upon cross-border payment services currently available. Bitso Shift will enable companies and individuals who offer their products and services in the U.S. to make and receive payments in cryptocurrency.

The U.S. is Mexico’s leading trade partner, according to the World Bank. In 2020, Mexico received $40 billion in remittances from the U.S., according to Mexico’s Central Bank.

By incorporating the payments solutions of Circle, the payment services company that operates the USD coin (USDC) stablecoin, the initiative will allow users to make deposits and withdrawals via domestic wire transfers and execute payments to the U.S. or Mexico. It will also allow users to convert Mexican pesos to U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins.

According to Bitso, access to bank accounts in U.S. dollars is only available for Mexican individuals living in Mexico’s northern border area. That restriction affects self-employed individuals and companies in the rest of the country seeking to open U.S. dollar accounts, the company added.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Circle to offer a regulated, low-cost product that will support Mexican freelancers and businesses to thrive in the global digital economy,” Bitso co-founder and CEO Daniel Vogel said in a statement.

Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire said he sees a great opportunity for the companies “to be part of making cross-border exchanges seamless between the U.S. and Mexico – the world’s largest exchange corridor.”

Wire transfers to Bitso Shift will take between 24 to 48 hours to process, while in-app exchanges between U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins and Mexican pesos will be processed in seconds, according to Bitso. No minimum transaction volumes or balance amounts are required, the company added.

In May, Bitso raised its Series C funding round at a $2.2 billion valuation, becoming the region’s first cryptocurrency company to exceed a $1 billion valuation. Bitso has over three million users, is already established in Argentina and Mexico, and has plans to expand into Brazil.

DISCLOSURE

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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk business reporter based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem.