The largest Spanish cryptocurrency exchange, Bit2Me, said on Thursday that it has acquired the bulk of the shares of its Peruvian rival, Fluyez.
Without providing a precise sum, Bit2Me Chief Operating Officer Andrei Manuel told CoinDesk that the purchase of the 85 percent stake cost more than 1 million euros ($1.022 million). As of March 2021, Luis Eduardo Berrospi will continue to serve as the co-founder and CEO of Fluyez.
The Peruvian company intends to increase its user base from 10,000 to 100,000 over the course of a year and will retain its current identity after being bought.
Bit2Me is also in talks to purchase an exchange in Chile and is also interested in acquiring exchanges in Uruguay and Colombia throughout Latin America. He went on to say that the targets should be between $1 million and $20 million.
According to Manuel, "We are seeking for businesses that are totally compliant, have users, a wallet where you can swap cryptocurrency and fiat, and a good team."
Bit2Me CEO Leif Ferreira said the company has already signed two memorandums of understanding to acquire a fintech firm and a software developer based in Spain in the second half of 2022. In the next year, it also intends to hire 250 more people, doubling its current workforce, he continued.
The business would finance acquisitions with cash on hand, including the 20 million euros it raised through an ICO in 2021. Ferreira also stated that the business does not completely rule out the entry of a strategic investor.
According to the company's announcement on Thursday, Bit2Me received permission from the Bank of Spain in February to serve as the "first provider of services for the conversion of virtual currency for fiat currency and the custody of digital wallets."
A firm spokesman told CoinDesk that Bit2Me will soon be able to offer Spanish-based banks a white-label service enabling cryptocurrency trading on their platforms, and that it is now in talks with "many institutions."
Bit2Me, with its permission, the Bank of Spain acknowledged that the business conforms with "the norms of commercial and professional honorability established for credit institutions and with the legislation for the prevention of money laundering."
The Bank of Spain issued instructions to institutions on how to register with the central bank to offer crypto-related services in the country in October 2021.
The Spanish company Bit2Me, which has more than 100 countries where it provides cryptocurrency services, reported a trade volume of EUR 1.1 billion ($1.25 billion) in 2021, according to a statement from the company.
According to Bit2Me's COO, Andrei Manuel, the company expects to launch operations in Brazil in the first quarter of 2022 after raising EUR 20 million ($22.7 million) through an ICO in 2021. The business intends to offer crypto-to-crypto trading as well as the ability for Brazilian customers to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat.
Zeeshan Feroz, the former CEO of Coinbase UK, was hired by Bit2Me in July 2021 as a strategic adviser. Baldomero Falcones, the former president of Mastercard International, was later appointed as a senior adviser.