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In an ambitious leap towards digital finance, Brazil’s Central Bank set plans in motion to test its central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform, known as the digital real.
To ensure a robust trial phase, a diverse array of local and international entities have been selected as participants, following a competitive bid process involving more than 100 institutions.
The roster of 14 participants, some representing groups of corporations, was unveiled on May 24.
It includes big names such as Microsoft Corp MSFT, the Brazil-based Banco Inter, digital tech firm 7COMm, financial services behemoth Visa Inc V, multinational Banco Santander SA SAN and Brazilian financial establishments Itaú Unibanco, BTG Pactual and Banco Bradesco.
As Brazil tests digital real’s privacy features and programmability, the primary use case under scrutiny will be a delivery versus payment protocol for federal public securities.
This pilot scheme, officially initiated in 2022, proposes a digital currency tethered to Brazil’s fiat currency, the real. The digital real would have a controlled supply, expanding over time.
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The importance of Brazil within the global crypto ecosystem continues to grow.
The country, with its massive population of 214 million, has become a prominent target for major crypto companies.
Earlier this year, Binance and Mastercard introduced a prepaid crypto card and Coinbase expanded its services by collaborating with local payment providers.
Recently, the central bank approved a license for Latam Gateway, Binance’s payment provider in Brazil, boosting its operational capabilities in the country.
Eugen Kuzin, head of marketing and public relations at the crypto payment ecosystem CoinsPaid, spoke with Benzinga. He said riding on the growing CBDC sentiment, there are more than 110 countries actively developing their own CBDCs, which help countries tag along with the evolution in the payment ecosystem. And, though there are risks of low adoption, the benefits can outweigh the risks.
“However, many nations have an advanced fintech ecosystem that a CBDC will not necessarily be a solution for if introduced. While CBDC in the general sense is essential, Central Banks need to understand that the introduction of this new asset class is not a quick process, and to encourage the broad adoption, the right legislation must be put in place,” Kuzin said.
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