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Brazil’s Central Bank to Launch CBDC Pilot in 2022

The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) plans to start a pilot program of a digital currency next year, BCB President Roberto Campos Neto said on Friday, according to local media outlet Estadao.

  • In September, the BCB told the Brazilian Senate that it planned to launch the final version of a digital real in 2024, according to estimates made by Fabio Araujo, an economic adviser to the BCB, who added that the monetary authority would conduct initial tests in 2022.
  • Brazil’s central bank has also been discussing a bill to regulate digital assets as an investment vehicle, Campos Neto also said on Friday, without disclosing further details.
  • “[Crypto] is already starting to affect even the national accounts, which means it has become a relevant investment instrument,” Campos Neto noted, adding that crypto purchases are affecting Brazil’s import figures.
  • According to the BCB, Brazilians have acquired $4.27 billion in cryptocurrencies so far in 2021. In August, Campos Neto said that Brazilians held about $40 billion in cryptocurrencies.

Who remembers this:

Ripple, the company associated with the XRP cryptocurrency, had a closed-door meeting with the central bank of Brazil on May 30 to discuss “institutional matters”. 

According to the financial institution’s website, its president Roberto Campos Neto had a video conference with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and three other representatives of the crypto firm. 

There’s little detail about the talk since it was closed to the media, although the website mentions “institutional matters” as the meeting’s general purpose.  

Ripple’s Brazil plans

Ripple’s ambitious plans for Latin America and Brazil in particular surfaced in June last year, when the company launched a Sao Paulo office with the aim to expand across the continent.

Remittance markets are the primary interest for Ripple, as it intends to facilitate cross-border settlements with the XRP cryptocurrency. Brazil’s remittance flows are valued at $2.5 billion, making the local market a desirable goal for the cryptocurrency company. 

In December 2019, Luiz Antonio Sacco, the general director of Ripple in Brazil who was also present at the recent meeting with Neto, announced the company’s intention to bolster partnerships with banks and other institutions in Brazil throughout 2020. 

So far, Ripple has secured alliances with at least three major local players — Santander, Bradesco, and Banco Rendimento — via its blockchain-based financial services network RippleNet.

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