Brazilian digital banking startup Nubank says it will launch its own cryptocurrency called Nucoin in the first half of 2023, marking the latest move into digital assets by a large financial institution.

According to the company, Nucoin is "a new way to recognize customer loyalty and encourage engagement with Nubank products", with plans to offer discounts and other perks to holders of the token.

"The project is another step ahead in our belief in the transformative potential of blockchain technology and to democratize it even more, going beyond the purchase, sale and maintenance of cryptocurrencies in the Nu app," says Fernando Czapski, general manager for Nucoin at Nubank.

Launched in 2013, Nubank has amassed 70 million users across Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, and is valued at $20.4 billion, and went public in December 2021. The digital bank is backed by Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway, which took a $500 million stake in June 2021.