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Ricardo Marino, shareholder of Itaú, invests in Digitra, a crypto exchange

Ricardo Villela Marino, shareholder of Itaú and an investor in a crypto firm.

Ricardo Villela Marino, shareholder and executive of Itaú, the bank that his great-grandfather founded, is also in the crypto world. The Profitus fund, controlled by the chairman of Itaú Latam, invested US$ 5 million (about R$ 25 million) in Digitra, which will operate in the spot and crypto derivatives markets. The startup founder is Rodrigo Batista, who in 2013 was one of the founders of the Mercado Bitcoin.

“We have created a business model that disrupts the crypto market globally and, at the same time, will encourage financial inclusion through digital assets. Digitra.com has what it takes to lead innovations in this market for years to come,” says Marino.

Ricardo Marino is also a consultant at Valor Capital, which invests in several blockchain and crypto-asset companies. Among the investees of Valor are, for example, the Mexican brokerage Bitso, Bayz, of electronic games, BlockFi, of financial products backed by crypto-assets, Coinbase, Celo and Circle.

Itaú is one of the banks that invests the most in blockchain and tokenization projects. In addition to offering crypto-linked funds, it works on the use of technology for financial processes.

Ricardo Marino invests in spot market and crypto derivatives

Batista started setting up Digitra after the Bitcoin Market was sold in 2019. But its goal is ambitious, 1 million customers in the first year of operation. Trading on the platform should start in July 2022. According to the entrepreneur, the platform is global.

According to the cryptocurrency exchange, the money goes to this operation and to the expansion of other projects of the group. One is a stablecoin backed by real nTokens and another is a startup stock exchange. The latter is already authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) to operate within the sandbox program. That’s because this project is with the crowdfunding platform SMU Investimentos and Átris, a technology company for exchanges.

Batista says he wants to conquer part of the space occupied by companies such as Binance, the largest in the world, and the North American FTX.

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