PicPay sets up a cryptocurrency exchange and will launch a stablecoin

July 11, 2022
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The fintech is launching a Crypto and Web3 unit, will list its own currency on the world's major exchanges, and will also venture into the world of NFTs

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Within a month, PicPay, one of the largest fintechs in Brazil, with more than 30 million active users, will enter the world of crypto-activities. The company has created a business unit baptized Crypto and Web3 and intends to get a series of products out of the oven.

The company's strategy, revealed exclusively to NeoFeed, includes everything from the creation of an exchange for cryptoactive trading, the development of its own stablecoin, and a dive into the universe of NFTs, with a marketplace for users and the intention to become a tokenizer.

"Picpay is going to enter that world very strongly. It won't be an ancillary product, it will be a very important line of business," says Anderson Chamon, cofounder and vice president of products and technology at PicPay.

The first step in this journey, which should be live in a month, is the launch of an exchange where users will be able to buy coins and store them within PicPay. At this early stage it will feature Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the USDP, a dollar-backed stablecoin. By the end of the year, the goal is to trade 100 coins.

The second step is to launch its own real-backed stablecoin. "There is no robust real-backed stablecoin and PicPay will be the big sponsor of that," says Chamon. The coin will be named Brazilian Real Coin (BRC) and the goal is to list on major exchanges around the world.

"You won't have to be a PicPay user to use this stablecoin. You can be a tourist coming to Brazil, take Paypal or another digital wallet, buy BRC on an exchange and use it in the Brazilian market," says Chamon.

BRC will be worth 1 real and, according to Chamon, that's the beauty of the deal. "It's one-to-one parity. It has the properties of a decentralized currency, it allows the user to send from one side to the other, creating disintermediation of bank, flag and acquirer," he says.

By the end of the year, crypto-activities will be plugged into all payment journeys within PicPay. It will be possible to use it to pay for everything from a coffee at the bakery to taking out insurance within the platform. "You will be able to pay boleto, bills, PIX using crypto," says Chamon.

The company began structuring the crypto and Web3 business unit five months ago. Since then, it brought in Silicon Valley-based executive Bruno Gregory to lead the business. In addition, it has hired 20 other professionals for the area and has other vacancies being filled.

Chamon says that PicPay decided to enter this segment because the next ten years will be decisive for this technology. The idea is to ship crypto-activities, even an NFT from a game, into the world of payments. "Our role is to take the complexity out of it, bring it into the real world, and help crypto become popular. We will be a driver of that," says Chamon.

But getting crypto to become popular, to be used in everyday life, is not an easy task. The executive explains that the user will be able to make a PIX using crypto and the owner of an establishment will not even know. "We will do the conversion and he will get paid in cash," he says.

The company is entering the market at a time when the crypto industry is going through a terrible winter, with exchanges suspending user operations and some of them seeing their market values plummet.

American Coinbase, for example, went public in April of last year being worth $85.7 billion, and last Friday, July 7, was worth $15.7 billion, a drop of more than 81.6 percent. Because of the crisis, last June the company laid off 1,100 people, 18% of its workforce.

PicPay will also enter an already crowded market and a war between the market's leading brokerages - from foreign ones like Binance and Bitso to Brazilian ones Foxbit and Mercado Bitcoin.

China's Binance, a $38.2 billion giant, has been criticized by rivals for virtually zeroing out brokerage fees in order to "buy market." On the other hand, Mercado Bitcoin, the largest domestic company in the industry, is capitalized by a hefty $200 million contribution in July of last year from Softbank.

PicPay will charge a fixed fee on small transactions, and large volumes will be percentage. It will range from $0.39 to 1.2% of the transaction. "Our vision is long-term. We are keeping an eye on the fundamentals of the technology," says Chamon.

Crypto, he says, is a subject the company has been following for a long time. "In the bull market of 2017, it was a topic that was linked to speculation, to making easy money, getting rich," Chamon says.

The executive says that now, in the recent bull market, the scenario has started to change. "It started to move from the speculation phase to the real use phase. And that's when we decided to take a step to get into that. We saw a lot of value in the technology," says Chamon. And PicPay intends to use its power of scale to change the game.

The company closed the year 2021 with 63 million registered users in its base of which 30 million are active. Last year, R$92 billion of volume was transacted - a 153% jump over 2020. The number of registered users jumped 62% and the number of active users grew 64.5%.

The revenue, of R$ 1.1 billion, represented an increase of almost 200%. The loss, in turn, reached R$1.9 billion, more than double the loss presented in 2020. The company's plan, which already has business units such as the financial, financial marketplace, store, and social verticals, is to plug in new units to increase usage and profitability.

The Crypto and Web3 area is another ingredient in this direction. "In 12 months, we believe that 3 million users will make use of crypto-activities within PicPay," says Chamon.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Latam Fintech Hub, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la platafomra. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.

Within a month, PicPay, one of the largest fintechs in Brazil, with more than 30 million active users, will enter the world of crypto-activities. The company has created a business unit baptized Crypto and Web3 and intends to get a series of products out of the oven.

The company's strategy, revealed exclusively to NeoFeed, includes everything from the creation of an exchange for cryptoactive trading, the development of its own stablecoin, and a dive into the universe of NFTs, with a marketplace for users and the intention to become a tokenizer.

"Picpay is going to enter that world very strongly. It won't be an ancillary product, it will be a very important line of business," says Anderson Chamon, cofounder and vice president of products and technology at PicPay.

The first step in this journey, which should be live in a month, is the launch of an exchange where users will be able to buy coins and store them within PicPay. At this early stage it will feature Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the USDP, a dollar-backed stablecoin. By the end of the year, the goal is to trade 100 coins.

The second step is to launch its own real-backed stablecoin. "There is no robust real-backed stablecoin and PicPay will be the big sponsor of that," says Chamon. The coin will be named Brazilian Real Coin (BRC) and the goal is to list on major exchanges around the world.

"You won't have to be a PicPay user to use this stablecoin. You can be a tourist coming to Brazil, take Paypal or another digital wallet, buy BRC on an exchange and use it in the Brazilian market," says Chamon.

BRC will be worth 1 real and, according to Chamon, that's the beauty of the deal. "It's one-to-one parity. It has the properties of a decentralized currency, it allows the user to send from one side to the other, creating disintermediation of bank, flag and acquirer," he says.

By the end of the year, crypto-activities will be plugged into all payment journeys within PicPay. It will be possible to use it to pay for everything from a coffee at the bakery to taking out insurance within the platform. "You will be able to pay boleto, bills, PIX using crypto," says Chamon.

The company began structuring the crypto and Web3 business unit five months ago. Since then, it brought in Silicon Valley-based executive Bruno Gregory to lead the business. In addition, it has hired 20 other professionals for the area and has other vacancies being filled.

Chamon says that PicPay decided to enter this segment because the next ten years will be decisive for this technology. The idea is to ship crypto-activities, even an NFT from a game, into the world of payments. "Our role is to take the complexity out of it, bring it into the real world, and help crypto become popular. We will be a driver of that," says Chamon.

But getting crypto to become popular, to be used in everyday life, is not an easy task. The executive explains that the user will be able to make a PIX using crypto and the owner of an establishment will not even know. "We will do the conversion and he will get paid in cash," he says.

The company is entering the market at a time when the crypto industry is going through a terrible winter, with exchanges suspending user operations and some of them seeing their market values plummet.

American Coinbase, for example, went public in April of last year being worth $85.7 billion, and last Friday, July 7, was worth $15.7 billion, a drop of more than 81.6 percent. Because of the crisis, last June the company laid off 1,100 people, 18% of its workforce.

PicPay will also enter an already crowded market and a war between the market's leading brokerages - from foreign ones like Binance and Bitso to Brazilian ones Foxbit and Mercado Bitcoin.

China's Binance, a $38.2 billion giant, has been criticized by rivals for virtually zeroing out brokerage fees in order to "buy market." On the other hand, Mercado Bitcoin, the largest domestic company in the industry, is capitalized by a hefty $200 million contribution in July of last year from Softbank.

PicPay will charge a fixed fee on small transactions, and large volumes will be percentage. It will range from $0.39 to 1.2% of the transaction. "Our vision is long-term. We are keeping an eye on the fundamentals of the technology," says Chamon.

Crypto, he says, is a subject the company has been following for a long time. "In the bull market of 2017, it was a topic that was linked to speculation, to making easy money, getting rich," Chamon says.

The executive says that now, in the recent bull market, the scenario has started to change. "It started to move from the speculation phase to the real use phase. And that's when we decided to take a step to get into that. We saw a lot of value in the technology," says Chamon. And PicPay intends to use its power of scale to change the game.

The company closed the year 2021 with 63 million registered users in its base of which 30 million are active. Last year, R$92 billion of volume was transacted - a 153% jump over 2020. The number of registered users jumped 62% and the number of active users grew 64.5%.

The revenue, of R$ 1.1 billion, represented an increase of almost 200%. The loss, in turn, reached R$1.9 billion, more than double the loss presented in 2020. The company's plan, which already has business units such as the financial, financial marketplace, store, and social verticals, is to plug in new units to increase usage and profitability.

The Crypto and Web3 area is another ingredient in this direction. "In 12 months, we believe that 3 million users will make use of crypto-activities within PicPay," says Chamon.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y solamente sus autores son responsables de ellas. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento o la opinión del equipo de Latam Fintech Hub y, por lo tanto, no pueden interpretarse como recomendaciones emitidas por la plataforma. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista en el ecosistema Fintech.
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