Brazil tightens crypto regulations as adoption surges
- The Governor of Brazil acknowledged potential issues associated with cryptocurrencies, such as tax evasion and illicit activities.
- Between January and August 2023, crypto imports surged by an impressive 44.2%.
Brazil has witnessed a remarkable surge in cryptocurrency adoption, prompting the Central Bank of Brazil to announce its intent to strengthen regulations surrounding digital assets.
The Governor of Banco Central do Brasil, Roberto Campos Neto, addressed the country’s Finance and Taxation Commission, highlighting the escalating trend in crypto use.
During his speech on 27 September, Neto shared data from the Central Bank. It revealed that Brazilians had significantly increased their “cryptocurrency imports.” Between January and August 2023, crypto imports surged by an impressive 44.2%, compared to the same period in the previous year. This translated to a total value of approximately $7.4 billion or 35.9 billion Brazilian reals.
Central Bank to strengthen oversight
Neto emphasized that stablecoins are increasingly being used for transactions rather than as investment vehicles. In response to these developments, the central bank intended to tighten its regulatory oversight and supervision of cryptocurrency platforms.
Neto also acknowledged potential issues associated with cryptocurrencies, such as tax evasion and illicit activities.
In June 2023, Brazil designated the Central Bank as the primary regulatory authority for cryptocurrencies. However, projects involving tokens classified as securities remain under the jurisdiction of the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), Brazil’s equivalent to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Additionally, Banco Central do Brasil is actively developing its own digital currency, known as Drex. In August, the central bank unveiled the brand and logo for its central bank digital currency [CBDC].
Notably, earlier controversies emerged when Brazilian blockchain developer Pedro Magalhães reportedly identified certain functions in the Drex code that could grant centralized authorities the ability to freeze funds or reduce account balances.
Banco do Brasil allowed the use of cryptocurrency for tax payments
Brazil’s largest public bank, Banco do Brasil (BB), announced in February that taxpayers can now use cryptocurrency to settle their dues. This service, provided by Brazil-based crypto payment processor Bitfy, allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies for Brazilian reals in real-time.
This move reflects Brazil’s growing crypto adoption, with the country becoming increasingly crypto-friendly. Rio de Janeiro initiated tax payments using crypto in October 2022, and President Jair Bolsonaro signed a crypto regulation bill.
Bitfy acts as a “collection partner” for BB and received investment from BB’s Corporate Venture Capital Program in November 2022.