🇧🇷 Brazil Crypto Report #28: Neymar Buys a Bored Ape
Olá Pessoal 👋 and welcome to 🇧🇷 Brazil Crypto Report for the week of Jan 17-21, 2022.
Another big week in Brazil crypto land. Some quick highlights:
1️⃣ Neymar bought a pair of Bored Apes for US$1.1m and is now using one of them as his Twitter profile pic.
2️⃣ E-commerce giant Mercado Libre acquired a stake in Mercado Bitcoin,
3️⃣ Hashdex will go live with the world’s first DeFi ETF in February,
4️⃣ Binance is sponsoring the Paulistão, one of Brazil’s premier football tournaments.
5️⃣ More developments and publicity around GAS Consultoria, including an Associated Press article about the case and Cabo Frio’s peculiar bitcoin pyramid scheme problems. Folha de S. Paulo also ran a long profile on GAS owner Glaidson Acacio dos Santos.
🔥 CoinDesk’s Andres Engler wrote a nice piece in English looking at the arms race amongst global and local crypto exchanges to grab market share in the Brazilian market. This is a theme we’ve been laser-focused on here at BCR so it’s exciting to see this getting more air time in the mainstream crypto press.
🗞 Some quick announcements…
🚀 Big shout out to the Bankless Brasil DAO! I had the chance to chat with some of their Writers Guild members this week and am excited about the work they’re doing creating quality crypto content in Portuguese. You can check out their Discord group here if you’re not plugged in already.
🎤 Next month I’ll be launching the 🇧🇷 Brazil Crypto Report Podcast. I’ll be interviewing different personalities across the Brazil crypto ecosystem. It will be in English at first but I hope to diversify into Portuguese language content later on. If you’re interested in being a guest or potentially sponsoring feel free to ping me (contact info below) or reply to this newsletter.
I’m also going to begin accepting op-ed submissions and other types of contributed content in both English and Portuguese. Details to come…
Até mais and we’ll see you after the break,
Perguntas? Sugestões? Find me at email@example.com, @AaronStanley on Telegram or on Linkedin
🙏 Special thanks to NEAR Foundation for supporting Brazil Crypto Report!
If you’re new here, the meta-thesis for this publication is that Brazil - with a population of 214 million and a US$1.8tn economy - is the most overlooked crypto market in the world. The objective is to highlight the important news and provide useful context for the English-speaking audience.
👩💻Brazil Crypto Hiring Spotlight
This week we take a look at some Brazil-related job openings at Ripio, which is one of Latin America’s largest crypto exchanges that acquired Brazil’s BitcoinTrade around this time last year.
A Content Analyst to help produce and manage content aimed at the Brazilian market
An Influencer Analyst to develop and manage relationships with external personalities and marketers
UX Researcher to build a better user journey and experience
ROC Analyst to evaluate and monitor internal IT infrastructure
Atlético Mineiro’s innovation and technology manager Felipe Ribbe has become Head of Business Development for Brazil at fan token platform Socios.com. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Popular cryptocurrency analyst André Franco has joined Mercado Bitcoin to build out its research arm. (Valor Investe)
🗞Brazil Crypto News Rundown 🗞
Crypto asset manager Hashdex will launch the world’s first DeFi ETF on Brazil’s B3 exchange in February, in partnership with CF Benchmarks, XP, Banco Genial and Itaú BBA.
The product will trade under the ticker symbol DEFI11 with an expected price per share of R$50 (US$9.16). The ETF will have a management fee of 1.3%.
The product will be Hashdex’s fourth crypto ETF in Brazil. In 2021, it launched a bitcoin ETF (BITH11), an ETH ETF (ETHE11) and a crypto ETF (HASH11) that invests in a basket of assets.
DEFI11 will mirror the CF DeFi Modified Composite Index, which has 12 assets across three categories:
DeFi protocols: Uniswap, AAVE, Compound, Maker, Yearn.Finance, Curve, Synthetix, AMP (~70%)
Support Protocols: Polygon, Chainlink, The Graph (~15%)
Platforms of Record: Ethereum (~15%)
Hashdex CEO Marcelo Sampaio said in a statement:
“This product represents yet another action by Hashdex in favor of Brazilian investors. We are facilitating the entry of everyone into this promising ecosystem, ensuring the best governance, custody, audit and regulation solutions, in addition to eliminating all difficulties and insecurities in digital asset transactions” (CoinDesk) (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (InfoMoney) (Valor Investe) (Exame) (MoneyTimes)
Latam e-commerce giant Mercado Libre (Mercado Livre in Portuguese) acquired a stake in 2TM Group, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin. It also made an investment in blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos, which offers crypto purchase and custody in Brazil via a partnership with Mercado Pago. Andre Chavez, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Mercado Libre, said in a statement:
“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology represent a unique, global and collective phenomenon that breaks down barriers and creates an open and level environment for all consumers to achieve economic empowerment, which is very much in line with our mission as a company.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (CoinDesk) (Portal do Bitcoin) (InfoMoney)
In just 9 months of existence, Hashdex’s HASH11 crypto ETF has become the second most held ETF on the B3 stock exchange with nearly 130,000 shareholders, displacing numerous traditional ETFs along the way. (InfoMoney)
Despite its heightened interest in crypto offerings and plans to introduce more products in 2022, the B3 exchange does not intend to launch a cryptocurrency exchange that would compete for retail investors. (Reuters)
Mercado Bitcoin announced 10 new token listings, including metaverse game startup GALA, Stellar (XLM), Radicle (RAD), Livepeer (LPT), Alchemix (ALCX), Request Network (REQ), Cartesi (CTSI), Fetch.ai (FET), Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and Immutable X (IMX). (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Portal do Bitcoin)
Binance has made 10 cryptoassets available for Brazilians to purchase with a credit card, including LOKA, API3, USDC, UST and others. Asset purchases made via credit card will still be subject to Brazil’s IOF financial transactions tax. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Mercado Bitcoin moved R$40.3bn (US$7.4bn) worth of cryptocurrency in 2021, up 530% year-over-year. The exchange also said that it onboarded 1.12m new customers in 2021, bringing its total user base to 3.25m, and added 88 new trading pairs during the year. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Pedro Celize, a Brazilian fund manager, criticized the institution that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst certification for including crypto assets in the exam. (Livecoins)
MB Digital Assets, a branch of Mercado Bitcoin, launched a new batch of consortium investment tokens with an advertised yield of up to 14.5% per year. The tokens are developed in partnership with Concash and will be available for a minimum investment of just R$100 (US$18). (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Binance will be the new premier sponsor of the Campeonato Paulista, aka the Paulistão. The premier football tournament in São Paulo state is scheduled begin Jan 23 and extend through April 3. Under the agreement, Binance branding will be on all of the Paulistão promotional platforms, including broadcast media, stadium advertising and social media. Binance will also have the rights to release exclusive NFTs and do live NFT drops at the tournament. In late 2021, Binance became a sponsor of Santos Football Club and launched the team’s official fan token on Binance Smart Chain. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said in a statement:
“Sponsoring such an important competition for the Brazilian sports calendar as Paulistão Sicredi 2022 marks Binance's immersion in Latin American football culture. We strongly believe in the potential of sport as an important means to spread the innovation brought about by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, contributing to mass adoption.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (CoinTimes) (Exame)
Vasco da Gama, the Rio de Janeiro-based football club, will launch its own fan token via partnership with Socios and Chiliz. $VASCO will function similar to other ‘fan tokens’ by allowing fans special forms of engagement. It’s not the club’s first foray into crypto, as it launched a token in conjunction with Mercado Bitcoin that gives holders royalty payments via the FIFA Solidarity Mechanism. Vasco also launched a collection of NFTs to commemorate its history fighting racial injustice in Brazil. According to the press release, Brazil now accounts for 40% of all fan engagement on the Socios platform. (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Livecoins) (Exame)Cruzmaltino, prepare-se para desbravar novos mares. O Gigante da Colina se une à família Socios.com. Seja bem-vindo, ! $VASCO ⚡ $CHZ
Financial platform DMCard announced a purchase of MCO2 to fully offset its 2021 carbon emissions. MCO2 is a cryptocurrency issued by the Brazilian firm MOSS. Each unit represents a ton of carbon dioxide not emitted into the atmosphere through various Amazon conservation projects. DMCard’s purchase will correspond to the preservation of 3,967 rainforest trees. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Illios received a US$800k (R$4.4m) investment from Fuse Capital and Transfero to expand the Helium network in Brazil. Helium is a peer-to-peer wifi service that allows node operators to earn HNT tokens for providing wifi coverage to underserved areas. (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (MoneyTimes)
The average transaction on Ethereum in recent weeks was R$191, roughly 15% of the national minimum monthly wage, raising doubts about how financial inclusion can be supported via the platform. (CoinTimes)
🎮 NFTs, Gaming and Metaverse
Neymar paid US$1.1m (R$6m) for two Bored Ape NFTs. The Paris-St. Germain footballer and Brazilian superstar bought BAYC #6633, the 91st most rare edition in the collection, for 159.99 ETH and BAYC #5269, the 628th most rare, for 189.69 ETH. Last year, Neymar also announced that he would launch his own NFT series via a partnership with NFTSTAR. (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Portal do Bitcoin) (InfoMoney) (CoinTimes) (Exame)
Brazil had the third most unique active NFT addresses of any market in the world in December 2021, trailing only the United States and the Philippines, according to a report from DappRadar, a popular NFT data site. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Estado de S. Paulo columnist Fabio Gallo published a column exploring Brazilian startups working to build applications and services in the metaverse.
Brazil-based blockchain gaming guild BAYZ acquired fellow guild SOMA. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
🏛 Public Policy and Enforcement
“Pharaoh of Bitcoins” Glaidson Acacio dos Santos had R$5.1m (USD$983k) worth of assets frozen by a Rio de Janeiro court to be set aside for potential client reimbursements. A total of 319 investors in GAS Consultoria, an alleged bitcoin pyramid scheme, have filed lawsuits against Glaidson since he was arrested in August in “Operation Kryptos.” The frozen assets reportedly include personal accounts of Glaidson, his wife and other GAS partners. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
A member of Glaidson’s “extermination group” was arrested in the Costa Verde region of Rio de Janeiro for his alleged participation in an assassination attempt against a GAS competitor. Rodrigo Silva Moreira allegedly agreed to kill Nilson Alves da Silva (aka Nilsinho) in exchange for R$250k (US$46k) in payment from Glaidson’s right hand man. The feud reportedly arose in January of last year when Nilsoninho, in an attempt to lure customers from GAS, began spreading news that Glaidson was going to be arrested (he was arrested in August). Nilsinho was shot by hooded gunmen in Cabo Frio last March while driving his BMW. He survived the attack but was left blind and quadriplegic. (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Livecoins)
Brazilian courts are considering banning Telegram, the messaging app popular among cryptocurrency users, to combat the spread of fake news in an election year. Telegram has no official representation in Brazil, and authorities have been unable to make contact with the app’s office in Dubai. 11 other countries have reportedly banned Telegram out of similar concerns. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The Senate will resume in February discussion of a bill that would exempt bitcoin mining equipment from taxation (Livecoins)
CVM, the Brazilian securities regulator, rejected a proposal by BlueBenx to pay R$150k (US$27k) to settle an alleged illegal securities offering. Investigations against the fintech company began amid investor complaints in 2019 over “Collective Investment Agreements’ that were viewed as an irregular public offering of bitcoin investment products. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The CVM issued a warning about a cryptocurrency exchange called Exness that recently set up a website in Portuguese and has begun targeting investors in Brazil. (Livecoins)
Police in Goiás arrested a trader, Péricles José Torres Galindo Filho, for allegedly stealing R$20m (US$3.7m) from investors in Piaui through a bitcoin pyramid scheme. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Rocelo Lopes, an early bitcoin miner and entrepreneur in Brazil, says that attempts to regulate Brazilian crypto space will backfire. He argues that PL 2303/15, which passed the Chamber of Deputies last December, does not protect entrepreneurs nor the companies operating in the market and adds that if crypto businesses were smart they would leave the country or send their employees to countries with fewer regulations. (CoinTimes)
MSK, a crypto advisory service accused of being a pyramid scheme after it stopped paying investors late last year, has agreed to pay back investors in five installments. (Valor Investe)
The Banco Central confirmed a Pix data leak by Acesso Soluções de Pagamento S.A, a payment operator that provides deposit and withdrawal services to Binance in Brazil through a partnership with Capitual bank. According to the BC, no sensitive customer data was exposed; rather the exposed information included some 160,000 customer names, CPFs, banking entities and account numbers. It’s the second confirmed leak of Pix user data since launching in late 2020. (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Livecoins)
InfoMoney ran a handy article (authored by Hashdex) on how investors can avoid being sucked into cryptocurrency pyramid schemes.