Značka: South America

2021: A year of mass adoption for cryptocurrencies in Brazil

Throughout 2021, the Brazilian cryptocurrency market managed to distance itself from the police pages and finally win acceptance with the general public, whether in the financial market or even in the greatest national passion: soccer.Last year, Bitcoin (BTC) acted as a strong alternative to the Brazilian real that ended 2021 by breaking negative records and reaching a devaluation of 6.5% by December, making it the 38th worst currency in the world.In a year of ups and downs for Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency hit a bottom of 167,000 real in January and soared along with global markets to 355,000 real in May. Faced with Bitcoin’s dip, the BRL/BTC pair was stuck below 200,000 reals until August, when it began to rise to a new historic high of 367,000 real on Nov. 8.Faced with the need for economic protection, Brazilians turned to crypto. 10 million Brazilians now participate in the crypto market, according to CoinMarketCap.In traditional financial markets, the Brazilian Stock Exchange debuted exchange-traded funds (ETFs) linked to Bitcoin and Ether (ETH). There are already five ETFs listed on B3, some of them positioned among the most profitable in the entire Brazilian stock market in 2021.The Central Bank of Brazil also announced new developments in the digital real, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which could be launched as early as 2023. The Brazilian Central Bank also announced that it will continue working to incorporate blockchain technology into its services by carrying out a series of tests through a dedicated team at the monetary authority.In the Federal Congress, discussions on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Brazil dragged on throughout the year, until in December, federal deputies approved Bill 2303/15, which establishes criteria for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country. The bill will be further discussed in 2022 in the House’s plenary session and later in the Federal Senate.There was tension among major players in the cryptocurrency market in Brazil in 2021, but also some good news. Brazilian exchanges went head-to-head with major crypto exchange Binance. Exchanges around the country worked with the Brazilian Cryptoeconomy Association to comply Binance to follow rules established by the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Revenue Service and the central bank. The global exchange is still negotiating with Brazilian market regulators and the country’s financial authorities.Related: ‘Mecca of mining’: Brazil considers zero tax on green Bitcoin miningOn the other hand, Brazil’s largest exchange, Mercado Bitcoin (MB) — today one of Latin America’s crypto unicorns — expanded its operations in the country, entering the sporting world once and for all. MB also worked alongside Chiliz to make fan tokens more accessible to Brazilian fans, a novelty that was adopted by national football giants such as Corinthians, São Paulo, Internacional, Atlético-MG and Flamengo.The nonfungible token (NFT) market also reached Brazil with wide adoption and presence of Brazilian players in play-to-earn games, collectible platforms and even in the arts, being adopted by visual artists and renowned names in Brazilian music such as André Abujamra and Zeca Baleiro.For the next year, we can expect even more major Brazilian and Latin American firms to enter the cryptocurrency market. The Brazilian Stock Exchange hopes to expand its offering of cryptocurrency-linked investments, with experts targeting decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs and the Metaverse.It’s also worth remembering that 2022 is an election year in a country that has been polarized since 2016, with the Bolsonaro government suffering from low popularity and being defined by social tension. The elections could affect not only the direction of the digital real but also the future of the Brazilian economy, including cryptocurrency markets.

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Uruguay reportedly installs its first Bitcoin ATM

Uruguay has reportedly installed its first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM, making it the 11th South American country to publicly encourage crypto adoption. Prior to Uruguay’s involvement, South America hosted 79 ATMs, which represented 0.2% of global BTC ATM installations.According to Ámbito, Uruguay’s first crypto ATM was installed in the coastal city of Punta del Este, a major tourist attraction in the region. Uruguay’s first Bitcoin ATM was developed and installed in partnership with two local crypto companies — URUBit and inBierto. The crypto ATM in Uruguay currently supports withdrawal and deposits of five cryptocurrencies, namely — BTC, Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD), Ferret Token (FRT) and Urubit (URUB). FRT and URUB are in-house cryptocurrencies managed and distributed by URUBit and inBierto respectively. Adolfo Varela, the CEO of inBierto, confirmed that the initiative was 100% funded by the government of Uruguay. inBierto is a crypto investment platform, who is also a member of the Uruguayan Chamber of Fintech (Cámara Uruguaya de Fintech), a startup accelerator focused on the fintech sector. URUBit is a decentralized token created in Uruguay and deployed in the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).Data from Coin ATM Radar shows that Colombia leads the South American market with 31 crypto ATM installations to date, who is followed by Brazil and Argentina at 22 and 11 installations respectively.Other South American countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Aruba and Saint Kits and Nevis have also installed one crypto ATM. inBierto has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.Related: Uruguayan senator introduces bill to enable use of crypto for paymentsLast year, an Uruguayan senator introduced a draft bill seeking to regulate cryptocurrency and enable businesses to accept crypto payments.As Cointelegraph reported, senator Juan Sartori was not keen on adopting crypto as a legal tender. Instead, he suggested:“Today we present a bill that seeks to establish a legitimate, legal and safe use in businesses related to the production and commercialization of virtual currencies in Uruguay.”

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Paraguay moves a step closer to regulating digital currency

On Dec. 17, 2021, the Senate of Paraguay approved a cryptocurrency bill introduced in July. The provisions, which define several key terms including virtual assets and call for licenses to mine cryptocurrencies, will now be sent to the Deputy Chamber for further deliberation.Senator Fernando Silva Facetti, the bill’s sponsor, revealed that it’s passed in the Paraguayan Senate after a contentious debate. According to the senator, the law also aims to foster the growth of crypto mining activities by using the surplus electricity generated in the country.(1/3) Today, after an intense debate, the Senate @SenadoresPy approved todaya New Law Project which regulates the industry and commercialization of #Crypto assets #Bitcoin #Paraguay after …(open threat)— FernandoSilvaFacetti (@FSilvaFacetti) December 17, 2021The body of the legislation includes a definition for virtual assets, tokens, cryptocurrency mining and VASPs (virtual asset service providers). It also grants the Ministry of Industry and Commerce the authority to seek assistance from government bodies outside its boundaries to implement the law.The bill explicitly states that cryptocurrency mining is a legal activity, noting that:”Virtual asset mining is a digital and innovative industry. This industry will benefit from all incentive mechanisms provided in national legislation.”Paraguay reportedly produces more energy than it consumes. As a result, several firms are interested in establishing cryptocurrency mining operations there to exploit this potential surplus.Related: Mass adoption looms as South America’s second-largest company accepts crypto paymentsIn July, Paraguayan Congressperson Carlos Rejala and Senator Fernando Silva Facetti presented a Bitcoin (BTC) bill in Congress, demonstrating the lawmakers’ commitment to crafting a comprehensive digital asset policy for their nation. The legislation has now been passed by the country’s Congress and will be discussed in the Chamber of Deputies in 2022.Due to local economic and fiscal challenges, especially in Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico, South America has emerged as a viable hotbed for cryptocurrency adoption. For example, as their national fiat currencies crumbled, Argentinians and Venezuelans have turned to digital alternatives like Bitcoin as a more viable payment option. Others, such as El Salvador, have taken a completely different approach, with the president encouraging the use of BTC on the people

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