Indonesian point-of-sale (POS) terminal maker Pundi X Labs (Pundi X) has struck a distribution deal with Brazilian company BitCapital to have 1,000 of its XPOS device distributed in retail outlets across the South American country, the startup said earlier this week.
The partnership, formed just a few weeks after the establishment of Pundi X’s South American headquarters in Sao Paulo, is the second distribution deal it signed in the continent. Another 1,000 XPOS are expected to be rolled out across Colombia over a six-month period by distribution partner Manticora Capital, a Colombian investment fund.
In recent years, political instability and economic turmoil in countries across South America have undermined trust in local currencies and prompted citizens to turn to cryptocurrencies as a more stable store of value and means of transaction.
In Venezuela, where inflation is set to hit 1,000,000% this year, cryptocurrency has risen in popularity among locals with some 200 merchants signing up to accept Dash and thousands of wallet downloads per month, according to Ryan Taylor, CEO of the Dash Core Group.
Countries such as Argentina and Brazil too have become fast adopters of cryptocurrencies. Buenos Aires is listed as one of the top ten countries in the world leading bitcoin adoption. The city has 130 merchants accepting the cryptocurrency and one bitcoin ATM installed.
“In a region fast gaining a reputation as a center for cryptocurrency to enter, the Brazilian market is an ideal point of entry and the demand from merchants has validated our expansion strategy into South America,” said Zac Cheah, CEO and co-founder of Pundi X.
“BitCapital is the ideal partner for our debut in Brazil. Not content to be an OTC leader in a market of global significance they are looking to take on banks and deliver a new payments solution.”
In partnership with big players, BitCapital’s goal is to become a crypto-friendly bank and provide infrastructure-as-a-service. The company is currently developing a payments infrastructure network that aims to make crypto-to-fiat transactions as frictionless as possible.
Founder Ricardo Guimaraes Filho believes easy and convenient solutions like the Pundi X POS will help increase cryptocurrency adoption.
“Brazil and Sao Paulo lead on every metric when it comes to traditional finance and tech in South America. Yet, crypto lags unaccountably behind,” he said.
Pundi X’s POS terminal, called Pundi XPOS, allows retailers to accept cryptocurrency payments. XPOS supports blockchain-based transactions, mobile wallets including Alipay and WeChat Pay, as well as payment cards. All Pundi X devices are connected to the Ethereum and NEM blockchain.
The Indonesian startup’s entrance into the South American market is part of a massive global expansion plan and follows similar deals with partners in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The startup is aiming to have up to 100,000 XPOS devices installed throughout Southeast Asia by 2021.