On a financial results report dated May 5th, e-commerce giant MercadoLibre dropped the bomb. The company is the latest institution to add Bitcoin to its balance sheet. It follows MicroStrategy, Square, and Tesla’s highly covered buys. Bitcoin’s institutional adoption is in its infancy, but advancing non-stop.
In the financial highlights for 2021’s First Quarter, the company wrote a succinct:
As part of our treasury strategy this quarter we purchased $7.8 million in bitcoin, a digital asset that we are disclosing within our indefinite-lived intangible assets.
A modest allocation, considering MercadoLibre has almost $4B in assets, a cash reserve of $1.1B. It also has a market capitalization of approximately $76B. However, the move might be part of a bigger plan. The company recently opened a section on their website dedicated to real state commerce in Bitcoin and Bitcoin only. The pilot program includes 75 properties and 7 real state agencies willing to accept the cryptocurrency.
The Bitcoin-on-the-balance-sheet club
The investment puts MercadoLibre in a pretty exclusive club. The institutional adoption pioneer was MicroStrategy, a company that then issued bonds to buy even more Bitcoin. Twice. At the time, Bitcoinist reported:
Microstrategy announced today that it purchased $15 million worth of Bitcoin. The company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, tweeted this morning that his company had bought approximately 253 BTC, bringing its total holdings to about 91,579 BTC.
After that, Square announced a moderate buy of $50M worth of Bitcoin, and months later another one of $170M. It’s worth noting that the company buys and sells BTC through their flagship product CashApp. And that it keeps buying more. Six months ago, Bitcoinist reported:
Ikigai Asset Management’s Hans Hague recently noted that per his analysis, Square and Grayscale alone have accumulated $2.3 billion worth of Bitcoin in the past quarter.
The biggest player of all, of course, is Elon Musk’s Tesla. Reports that the company made more money from that investment than for selling cars are all over the Internet. In any case, Tesla made a big splash when it entered the space. Bitcoinist reported:
Traders flocked into the cryptocurrency market a day after American carmaker Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5bn worth of Bitcoin as “alternative reserve assets” to their cash holdings.
In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said it plans to buy more Bitcoin in the future and—maybe—even enable its use as a medium of payment for its products and services.
MercadoLibre stock chart | Source: MELI on TradingView.com
More about MercadoLibre
It may not be a big name in the European and North American markets, but MercadoLibre is ubiquitous in Latin America. The company operates in:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
In the quoted financial results report, they describe themselves as:
Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre is the largest online commerce ecosystem in Latin America, serving as an integrated regional platform and as a provider of the necessary digital and technology-based tools that allow businesses and individuals to trade products and services in the region. The Company enables commerce through its marketplace platform which allows users to buy and sell in most of Latin America.
A question remains, will Bitcoin holdings make MercadoLibre’s stock rise?
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