Brazil Makes Statement for Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Brazil has identified 14 elite institutions to participate in the piloting of the digital real, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). The recently announced list includes major local private banks such as Bradesco, Nubank and Itaú Unibanco, as well as Brazil’s largest public bank Banco do Brasil and local stock exchange B3. Multinational companies such as Visa and Microsoft were also selected for participation.

Among them, Nubank attracted attention due to its relationship with Bitcoin. Nubank recently rolled out a feature that allows its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum on its platform. Nubank also announced that it will invest 1% of its cash position on its balance sheet in BTC to strengthen the asset’s belief in the company’s current and future potential. In addition, Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has an investment in Nubank.

Berkshire Hathaway purchased a $500 million stake in Nubank’s parent company, Nu Pagamentos SA, in June 2021. The Central Bank of Brazil will begin to include participants in the Real Digital Pilot platform in mid-June 2023.

It received a total of 36 applications from over 100 institutions from different financial sectors, including the Central Bank, payment institutions, financial cooperatives, public banks, crypto companies, financial market infrastructure operators and payment settlement institutes. The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) has been exploring the possibility of a digital currency in Brazil since August 2020 and has formed a working group to conduct research on the subject.

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