Crypto startup Ripio has announced that it is opening a new crypto exchange platform in three Latin American markets.
Ripio’s exchange will operate in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, although according to Ripio CEO Sebastian Serrano, regulatory roadblocks have forced them to make fixed-price purchases the only ones available in Mexico. Over-the-counter (OTC) trading for institutional investors will also be launched alongside the exchange.
Due to regulatory reasons, the exchange will enable only spot trading without support for derivatives. Ripio is reportedly working with regulators in Argentina to lay the groundwork for security token trading.
The startup is already neck-deep in efforts to boost crypto adoption in Argentina, and currently offers a crypto wallet as well as peer-to-peer lending. Serrano noted that Ripio users are, by and large, early adopters and technophiles, so the company needs to start going mainstream and reach a broader audience.
An emphasis on crypto education
Ripio will also increase its crypto education efforts using the exchange. First-time users will only be able to buy and sell crypto at a fixed price, said Serrano, and the exchange itself will also feature educational materials such as video tutorials, podcasts, daily news, and a forum as well as basic information on each available crypto asset.
Users will be able to make more complex orders as they complete more transactions and become better versed in how the crypto market and trading works.
“We want to take someone who’s just curious about crypto and help them to go up to the advanced user,” explained Serrano. “If you immediately expose people to a very difficult [trading] interface they will end up hurting themselves or giving up.”
Ripio’s crypto exchange is currently being beta tested by around 1,000 users and 80 Ripio staff members. The exchange’s official launch window has been set for mid-June.
Peer-to-peer credit, real-world fiat on-ramps
Ripio started out in 2013 as Bitpagos but was rebranded with its current name the following year. The company’s internal data counts over 300,000 users from the 25 to 40 age demographic in Latin America.
The company raised $37 million during an initial coin offering (ICO) for its RCN tokens, which power its peer-to-peer credit network, in 2016. It raised another $2.25 million in a Series A funding in 2017.
Serrano revealed that its peer-to-peer credit network’s system now has around 500 loans with an average loan size of around $100.
Ripio has also worked to provide real-world fiat on-ramps in Argentina, with considerable efforts being made to encourage convenience stores to sell small amounts of Bitcoin.
There are now around 8,000 stores in Argentina where users can deposit fiat currency and fund their Bitcoin accounts at Ripio.