Lightning Network Partnership with Retail Giant Bolsters Bitcoin Adoption in Mexico

Bitcoin 2023, the world’s largest Bitcoin conference held in Miami, may not have made major headlines this year like its predecessors, but it witnessed a significant partnership that could have a profound impact on Mexico’s economy, ranked 15th globally.

During the conference’s Industry Day, José Lemus, the CEO of Ibex Mercado, announced a collaboration with Grupo Salinas, one of Mexico’s leading corporate conglomerates. The partnership aims to enable millions of Mexicans to pay their internet bills at Total Play, a popular telecoms company, using the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Grupo Salinas, owned by billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, holds numerous businesses across Mexico and is renowned for its Bitcoin maximalist stance. This strategic alliance signifies just the beginning of Lightning functionality within Grupo Salinas. The plan includes the development of a Lightning app for employees and a super app for soccer teams to enhance fan engagement using innovative Bitcoin-based approaches.

This move follows the footsteps of the Perth Heat, an Australian baseball team that embraced a Bitcoin standard in 2021. Players received salaries in Bitcoin, and fan engagement activities utilized the Lightning Network, where spectators received satoshis for participating in various in-game events.

Lemus emphasized the potential for financial inclusion offered by the Lightning Network. Ibex Mercado previously integrated the Lightning Network into El Salvador’s Chivo Wallet, a groundbreaking initiative that provided banking services to millions of Salvadorans. Lemus believes that expanding Bitcoin adoption can significantly improve the lives of the unbanked and underserved populations, promoting true financial inclusion by enabling access to funding and broader markets for businesses.

Mexico is poised to become a thriving Bitcoin destination, according to Lemus. The year 2022 witnessed promising developments in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption throughout the country, with the establishment of crypto remittance companies and the expansion of crypto exchanges.

While it may still take some time before individuals can conduct their entire lives using Bitcoin, Lemus estimates that within the next 18 months, significant progress can be achieved. However, certain aspects like taxes and rent may still require traditional fiat currency.

The partnership between Ibex Mercado and Grupo Salinas is the result of 18 months of hard work and preparation, signaling the dedication of both parties to drive Bitcoin adoption in Mexico. While specific details of upcoming partnerships and projects remain undisclosed, the future looks promising for further advancements in the Mexican crypto landscape.

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