Mexican bitcoin exchange Bitso has exited beta with a number of initiatives aiming to attract new users in the country.
The company first went live in April as the first exchange aimed at Mexico's burgeoning bitcoin ecosystem, with features designed specifically for locals.
“As we are not a ‘cookie cutter’ exchange, we're really able to offer services tailored to the particular needs of the Mexican market,” Bitso chief technology officer Ben Peters told CoinDesk.
For instance, the exchange is fully integrated with Compropago, a local payments service that allows Bitso users to fund their account with cash at over 130,000 terminals across Mexico, including some 7-Elevens and Walmarts.
As for its exit points, Bitso will charge 1% commission on all trades – previously free in beta. Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, Mexican peso withdrawals by SPEI transfer and use of the platform's Ripple gateway will remain free.
Most exciting to the team is Bitso's new referral program, which pays users 10% of the trade commission generated by each new customer they bring to the platform.
“The market in Mexico is still very nascent, and so we’re doing everything we can do encourage participation. The referral scheme is a terrific way to directly involve our regular users in promoting this new economy in an inclusive way.”
Mexico's Ripple gateway
Peters said the company aims to boost Mexican interest in the fundamental benefits that cryptocurrency systems – not just bitcoin – can bring to the country.
“Our vision is to help Mexicans harness these technologies in ways that can make a profound difference to their lives,” he explained.
The platform is the first and only Ripple gateway in Mexico.
According to chief executive Pablo Gonzalez, Bitso's partners see a symbiotic relationship between its Ripple Gateway and its bitcoin exchange, focusing on the value proposition the Ripple network offers outside its native currency, ripple (XRP).
He told CoinDesk:
“This is something we've found extremely helpful for bringing bitcoin liquidity to the Mexican market as it allows our market makers to quickly move in and out of Bitso.”
Playing for the same team
As the first Mexican bitcoin exchange, Gonzalez said he and his team have benefitted greatly from their first-mover advantage over the last four months.
Upon mentioning the progress of bitcoin exchanges MexBT and Unisend, alongside brokers Volabit and CoinBatch, he added that Bitso doesn’t view the other players in Mexico’s bitcoin economy as opponents:
“We are very glad to see these companies in Mexico as they cater to first-time bitcoin users, which helps grow bitcoin adoption in Mexico. We are looking forward to working with these companies in future.”
Gonzalez reiterated the company’s intent to educate people on cryptocurrencies and help them access the relevant tools that can help grow the crypto-economy.