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Brazil approves crypto bill for Bitcoin payments and digital asset investments

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(Kitco News) - Brazil’s lawmakers have approved a cryptocurrency framework bill that will allow Brazilians to use Bitcoin for payments and will recognize digital assets as an investment asset class.

The bill will create an agency to oversee the Brazilian cryptocurrency industry, including managing the operations of crypto exchanges and other service providers.

Exchanges will be required to observe specific rules in order to maintain their access to the Brazilian market, including certification by the federal government and establishing processes to segregate the exchange’s funds from those of its users.

The new crypto oversight agency will delegate responsibility to other governmental bodies, with the country’s securities regulator handling regulation of investments and Brazil’s Central Bank managing the use of Bitcoin for payments.

Before the bill can become law, it must be signed by the President. Jair Bolsonaro is scheduled to leave office on Dec. 31, after losing to former President Luis Inacio Da Silva, better known as ‘Lula,’ in the recent Oct. 31 election.

Earlier this year, Lula discussed the possibilities for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Brazil, saying that a framework needs to be put in place to prevent fraud and other criminal activities. “Crypto assets have grown a lot in recent years and deserved the attention of the authorities,” he told local media. “The government, especially through its autonomous Central Bank, must create norms in line with the international standard to avoid illegal practices that can make use of crypto assets, such as money laundering and currency evasion, in addition to avoiding practices of fraudulent trading.”

His campaign also said that it should be the government’s role to “monitor the impact of the crypto market on the health of the financial system,” but did not go into detail on how this would be done.

On Nov. 3, Brazil also saw the stablecoin USDT made available for use at 24,000 ATMs in the country. The integration was made possible by a partnership with Brazilian crypto services provider SmartPay, enabling users to transfer USDT from any wallet to an ATM to conduct their transactions. At present, users are only be able to deposit USDT and withdraw reais, but beginning in February, they will also be able to deposit reais at ATMs and receive USDT in their wallets.

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