Saturday, December 10

Ripio, the crypto platform that wants to conquer Latin America from Argentina

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Henrique Teixeira left a brilliant career in the world of traditional finance to make the leap to crypto. He exchanged HSBC, Itaú and Citi, heavyweights on his resume, for Ripple first, and now for Ripio, one of the emerging platforms with fast growth and remarkable ambition.

During the recent Lendit Fintech, held in Miami, the executive spoke with D+I to reveal plans with an emphasis on his native Brazil, interest in opening in Spain, and with the rest of Latin America as a priority.

Teixeira considers that his move from the world of banking to crypto is natural, logical. “Ripio is a very important player. They are the ones they have carried the bitcoin to Brazil. The headquarters and where he was born was Argentina”, he clarifies.

Among Ripio’s achievements is to position itself as the second trading platform for bitcoin in Brazil and as first wallet (wallet) in terms of volume.

They complement their catalog with OTC services (over the counter), as they call the high-volume actions in which a person from the team who acts as broker of the operation.

The cards, key to go to crypto

The Ripio credit card stands out for offering fractions of bitcoin with every purchase. Instead of returning money (cashback) or discounts, prefer that the customer can receive this payment after each purchase.

In addition, Teixeira explains, they are finalizing the launch of a ‘Ripio Card’, a card to pay in different currencies, as if they were traditional currencies issued by governments. He sums it up simply: “We want to provide a complete, comprehensive solution to avoid having to use five different applications to move money”.

Aware of the distrust generated by the unknown, in Ripio they are making a effort to integrate newcomers and provide training. “It’s about explaining the concept, dynamics, operation and, in short, a very different vision but with a lot of sense”, he stresses.

They are obsessed with making it easy to use their services, which is why they have liquidity in the form of a bank account to support the company, one of the aspects that most concerns newcomers.

Inflation, volatility and ‘wallets’

Five years ago, Teixeira started flirting with the stable coins, currency with a quote anchored to that of traditional legal tender money. “For many countries in the region, crypto has become a tool to hedge against inflation and local currency volatility. That is why we want to educate, so that citizens understand how they can protect your finances from political decisions“, he reports.

Speaking of protecting, take the opportunity to get your chest out: “We have never had a hack.

In his opinion, it is impossible to turn back the revolution of cryptocurrencies. “Banks are offering ETFs [fondos no cotizados] as an investment vehicle, which already include crypto assets. Mercado Pago, which is a giant, allows payments in cryptocurrencies”, he details as an example.

His intention is to extend the use of his mobile wallet to store much more than coins. “We want it to have diverse uses, to be a basic, that NFTs and more digital assets that will come in the future can also be stored. The ideal is that you can pay for a pizza online with our portfolio”, he explains.

expansion plans

Ripio has a clear competitor in the region, Bitso. Born in Mexico and already recognized as a unicorn, as companies whose valuation exceeds 1,000 million dollars are called. Texeira avoids referring directly to them, but he does highlight the leading position of Ripio in Argentina and its expansion plans: “In addition to Brazil, we are accelerating in Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico.”

Spain will be the spearhead for its arrival in Europe, where they have already started hiring and setting up an office. In total, they have more than 300 employees. Half of them in Argentina and another hundred in Brazil. The manager says goodbye with an invitation to apply for the jobs to be announced on his networks and website, a real sensor to understand the direction of the companies and their international priority.