Mexican unicorn Bitso sets out transparency roadmap amid FTX crash


FILE PHOTO: Souvenir tokens representing cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the Ethereum network, with its native token ether, plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican cryptocurrency exchange unicorn Bitso laid out a transparency roadmap, as pressure from users mounted following the high-profile collapse of crypto exchange FTX, a top Bitso executive told Reuters on Thursday.

In a spectacular crypto blowup, FTX filed for protection in the United States earlier this month after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival exchange Binance abandoned a rescue deal.

Bitso, which operates in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, will publish a solvency report in less than a month and is in the process of selecting an external partner to carry out an audit, Bitso's Chief Regulatory Officer Felipe Vallejo told Reuters.

Bitso recently joined a group of international firms in the crypto sector, which are working to create an easy-to-understand report so users can decide for themselves if firms have funds to back their transactions.

"The proofs of funds published by some companies are insufficient since they only show assets and do not reflect how much crypto or money it owes its users," he said.

FTX's crash has created a sense of urgency to regulate crypto, the chair of global securities watchdog IOSCO Jean-Paul Servais said in an interview published Thursday.

Regulators across the region are stepping up efforts. Brazilian lawmakers are speeding up crypto regulation, and in the United States, Congress is expected to make progress next year on regulating its sprawling crypto sector.

In Argentina there are also signs of activity, said Vallejo, without giving more details.

"Well-constructed regulation can even be an advantage as it will remove bad actors from the ecosystem," he added.

While Bitso's growth could suffer in the near-term as it implements the new transparency methods, Vallejo said non-crypto services, such as remittances to Mexico, could help offset the blow.

(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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