Brazil Legalizes Crypto Payments

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  • Brazil has legalized crypto payments in the country
  • Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, but payments can be accepted for goods and services
  • Brazil has seen huge crypto growth in the last two years

Brazil has legalized the use of cryptocurrencies for payments, marking another step in the adoption of the sector, although it doesn’t stretch as far as adopting any as legal tender. Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies yesterday approved Bill 2303/15, a regulatory framework legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies as means of payment in the country, not long after its neighbor Argentina was touted as the South American country most likely to go big on Bitcoin.

Brazil’s Crypto Use Has Been Growing

Brazil might seem like a surprise choice for the next country to adopt crypto in such a manner, but the truth is the signs had been there for a while. Cryptocurrency ownership in Brazil increased from 4.9% in 2020 to 7.8% in 2021, with some 10 million Brazilians dabbling in crypto at the end of last year.

At the same time, federal deputies approved Bill 2303/15, which established criteria for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, pushing it forward to the next stage – discussion in the congressional houses and a special commission on virtual currencies that was set up to discuss this and other bills tackling the matter.

It is this bill, signed under code PL 4401/2021, that provides for the inclusion of virtual currencies in the definition of “payment agreements” under the supervision of the country’s Central Bank.

Not Legal Tender

The bill means that Brazilians are allowed to pay for goods and services in crypto if they wish, but it does not force merchants to accept it as if it were legal tender. This is the case in El Salvador, which has had to roll out an entire Chivo wallet infrastructure based on the Lightning Network to achieve it.

Brazil seems to have found a good halfway house between allowing people to use cryptocurrencies for everyday use but not inconveniencing those who don’t want to have to deal with it.