🇧🇷BCR #52: Nubank Hits 1 Million Crypto Customers in 3 Weeks; São Paulo FC Acquires Argentine Star With USDC
Also: BTG Pactual launches its Mynt crypto exchange while Santander Brasil announces forthcoming crypto product
Greetings and welcome to 🇧🇷Brazil Crypto Report for the week of July 25-29. Hope everyone had a good weekend - the highlight of mine was attending a rib eating competition where I witnessed a guy down 2.8 kgs of rib meat in 12 minutes.
Lots going on this week as always! I appreciate you reading and hope you enjoy this week’s edition.
São Paulo FC Acquires Argentine Footballer with Crypto
In the most expensive deal in club history, SPFC acquired Argentine midfielder Giuliano Gallopo from Club Atlético Banfield for US$6m, and signed the 23 year old to a five year contract. The transaction was paid in USDC stablecoins and facilitated by Bitso. Bitso Brasil CEO Thales Freitas stated:
“This is a historic moment for Bitso, São Paulo and South American football. Our main mission with SPFC is to contribute to greater modernization, digitalization and inclusion in Brazilian sport, and this is another important step in this direction. We are very proud to work with both clubs to make hiring possible with all the security, transparency and flexibility that the cryptoeconomy offers.”
🎉Nubank Reaches 1 million crypto customers
Nubank has eclipsed 1 million crypto customers just three weeks after making trading available to customers, making it the second-largest crypto trading platform in Brazil. Crypto purchases can be made within the Nubank app, via a partnership with Paxos, without restriction during the day and throughout the week, with a minimum purchase of R$1.
CEO David Velez commented that he’s “super impressed with the speed” at which the number was reached (one million was the goal for the first year!). Nubank had 46.5 million total active users at the end of the first quarter 2022.
NuCripto currently offers just bitcoin and ether and is hoping to add new assets soon and expand into other areas like tokenization. Vélez told NeoFeed:
“It's an easy investment experience, but we want to avoid speculation“That's why we've been creating educational content…It is proof of our great cross selling potential for our customer base.”
Nubank’s crypto lead Thomas Fortes said in a statement:
“This extraordinary achievement of 1 million customers in the crypto world in such a short time shows that we are on the right track, well positioned and in line with our purpose of democratizing cryptocurrencies and providing customer access to new financial opportunities.”
“The disruptive potential of the technology behind cryptocurrencies is enormous. We will continue to evolve this experience, always listening to our customers to seek to evolve our products and digital currency offering, taking advantage of this transformative power of blockchain.”
BTG Pactual, Santander Move Ahead with Crypto Products
Two of Brazil’s largest banks took big steps this week in rolling out crypto products for customers. BTG Pactual, the largest investment bank in Latin America, went live with its crypto trading platform - Mynt. Looking to keep pace with rival XP, it now officially throws itself into the scramble to reach the Brazilian retail investor, after opening the waitlist last fall. Andre Portilho, head of digital assets at BTG Pactual, commented:
“Our goal is to offer access to investments in crypto assets in a simple, direct and secure way. In addition, we will have content for people to know how to invest in new financial market scenarios."
Spanish multinational bank Santander plans to soon offer crypto trading to its clients in Brazil. Santander Brasil CEO Mario Leao stated:
“We recognize that it is a market that is here to stay, and it is not necessarily a reaction to competitors positioning themselves. It is simply a vision that our client has demand for this type of asset, so we have to find the most correct and most educational way to do it.”
🎙Be sure to check out the latest episodes of the 🇧🇷Brazil Crypto Report podcast. This week I was joined by Blockchain Rio CMO Tatiana Sampaio to get a sneak preview of next month’s Blockchain Rio festival, which takes place September 1-4.
Previously, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brazilian UFC fighters Matheus Nicolau and Luana Pinheiro about their decision to accept part of their salary in bitcoin.
🤩 We’ll also be launching our invitation-only BCR Institutional platform later this month. This product will focus on providing bitcoin and crypto education to professional investors in Brazil. It will consist of investor-focused content (in Portuguese), exclusive monthly roundtables and discussion groups. Please keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation. If you don’t get an invitation but feel you should (many of you use anonymous email addresses🕵️♀️) feel free to ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
🙏 Thanks to our partners at HBAR Foundation for supporting 🇧🇷 Brazil Crypto Report! If you're a Latam entrepreneur or developer with an up-and-coming project or idea and need some support, take a look at the HBAR grant program. They're seeding projects focused on DeFi, fintech, NFTs, sustainability and so much more. They also offer a plethora of other resources to help builders bootstrap. Do yourself a favor and check them out! 👊
🗞Brazil Crypto News Rundown
XP Investimentos provided more detail about the roadmap for its Xtage product.
Xtage will commence with just bitcoin and ether offerings in August, but hopes to expand to 10 assets by the end of the year.
Of its 3.6 million clients, those “with an adequate investment profile for such operations” will be eligible to use the product, Lucas Rabechini, XP’s director of financial products, told Reuters.
XP also won the award for most innovative financial services company in Brazil in the Valor Inovação Brasil contest.
Users will be able to use proprietary trading robots and algorithms via an integration with trading platform MetaTrader 5
Binance is now charging a fixed fee for withdrawals from corporate accounts (known as PJs) after the service was unavailable for more than a month. PJ account withdrawals are also only available via Pix. Ted and bank transfer services for corporate accounts have been listed as under “maintenance” since mid-June. It is also requiring customers to fill out a “declaration of wealth” with personal financial information before being permitted to withdraw. (Portal do Bitcoin)
A study commissioned by crypto derivatives platform Bitget, Boston Consulting Group and Foresight Ventures identified Latam and the APAC region as the most attractive regions for global exchanges looking to expand their business. The study also pointed out that foreign exchanges were able to grab significant market share due to the regulatory chasms and arbitrage. (BlockNews) (InfoMoney)
KPTL is launching an investment fund focusing on companies and assets in the NFTs, DAOs and metaverse space. The fund, which has been approved by the CVM, will be called Lupa Web3 Fund. Lars Janér, who will run the fund, commented:
“We try to analyze the 'tokenomics' of each project. How is the allocation of tokens? What is the team, the business model, the level of community engagement? web3 gives enormous power to the community. The project can be wonderful and the team can be incredible, but if you can't engage, you won't be successful.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Valor Investe)
Banco24Horas, the largest independent ATM operator in Brazil, has processed R$3.2m in cryptocurrency withdrawals through the TecBan platform since November 2020. (Valor)
Eight out of 10 Brazilians in socioeconomic class A, B and C (essentially everyone with internet connection) are familiar with cryptocurrency, according to a new survey by C6 Bank/Ipec. 9% of respondents said they are already invested in crypto and will continue to do so, while 30% did not have an opinion either way about the asset class. (Valor) (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Brazilian DeFi protocol Pods Finance launched Pods Yield, a low-risk investment product that generates returns from ETH volatility without using leverage. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Rio de Janeiro is re-affirming its commitment to developing a crypto and bitcoin economy. Andrea Senko, Rio’s Secretary of Finance and Planning told Boletim Bitcoin that the city wants to become “the crypto ecosystem of Brazil”. She commented:
“Rio, due to its vocation as a global city, is attentive to the main changes and innovations in the world, and is always at the forefront of these themes. The city has a look to the future, and the City Hall has been following technological and economic advances [...].”
Bitso surpassed one million customers in Brazil just over a year after launching. Thales Freitas, CEO of Bitso Brasil, told Reuters.
"We beat 1 million users in Brazil earlier than expected, and our transaction volumes grew by 66% in June from May.”
UseCripto, the popular YouTube channel and content platform founded by Caroline Souza and Kaká Furlan, is abandoning shitcoins and converting to bitcoin maximalism with a new platform called Area Bitcoin. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Tokenized carbon credits represent a lucrative new source of financing for Brazilian agribusiness, argues Renato Hallgren, an equities analyst at BB Investimentos. (Money Times)
PurpleCats aims to be a Brazilian digital bank allowing investments and purchases in crypto on both the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain blockchains, as well as fiat transfers. (BlockNews)
The Superior Tribunal de Justiça, Brazil’s Supreme Court, created a select bibliography of resources dedicated to cryptocurrencies. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Nuvei, a Montreal-based company that helps companies receive crypto payments, is expanding its presence in Brazil. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Forgot to report all of your bitcoin tax gains to Receita Federal? CoinTelegraph Brasil has some tips.
Nodle Network, a smartphone-based decentralized network, has signed on as the presenting sponsor for the Blockchain Rio conference taking place September 1-4 in Rio de Janeiro. Carolina Mello, head of communciations at Nodle, explained:
“Brazil has one of the most connected populations via smartphones in the world and one of the great growth poles of the crypto ecosystem. During BlockchaIn Rio, we will show that Nodle brings an innovative, simple and secure solution, using your smartphone while doing your day-to-day activities.” (CriptoFacil)
Serpro, the Federal Data Processing Service, is helping to bring Brazilian blockchain startups to Portugal for Web Summit 2022 in November. (Livecoins)
Mercado Bitcoin has hired former journalist and influencer Inaiara Florêncio to serve as director of content strategy. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Andre Portilho, head of digital assets at BTG Pactual, highlights three reasons why crypto is becoming more popular in Brazil in an interview with CoinTelegraph Brasil. 1) Brazilians are open to new technological networks and innovations like Pix, 2) the Brazilian financial market pertaining to crypto is quite sophisticated, with more than 10 crypto ETFs available on the B3 platform, and 3) the highly speculative nature of crypto, which has more appeal in Brazil than other countries in the region.
Ripio is launching Ripio Portal and Ripio Chain, a Polygon sidechain, to build more integrations with Web3, gaming and metaverse communities. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Valor ran a piece exploring the growing interest in tokenization and blockchain for “back office” use cases among large Brazilian banks like Itau, BTG Pactual and Banco do Brasil.
Startup Resíduos ID won a city of São Paulo city challenge with a plan to tokenize and track trash and recycling using the Ethereum blockchain (Exame)
Elo, the payments startup, is seeking applicants operating in DeFi, metaverse, crypto and blockchain for its Elo Connecta program, which aims to strengthen the security and efficiency of financial transactions in Brazil. (BlockNews)
The B3 exchange has opened several job openings for blockchain and digital assets specialists. (Livecoins)
Unicamp professor Jorge Stolfi again criticized bitcoin and blockchain as a fraud in an interview with DW Brasil:
“Cryptocurrencies are financial fraud from a family of frauds that includes pyramid scheme, ponzi schemes, multi-level schemes, lottery schemes and so on, all these scams have the same characteristic that the money investors can take from these schemes comes from from the same source: the money put in by other investors.” (Livecoins)
🎮 NFTs, Gaming and Metaverse
Nemus is under investigation for selling fake NFTs that have no connection to preserving the Amazon rainforest. According to the Federal Public Ministry, the NFTs are supposedly linked to environmental services in the 41,000 hectares that the company claims to own. Nemus must present ownership titles to the land it claims to own. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Brazilian footballer Hulk is an ambassador for a new project by the Amazon League Club called “Collection Hulk”, which seeks to use blockchain tech and NFTs to help preserve the region. (Exame)
Gafisa, the Brazilian construction and real estate giant, is opening its own space in the metaverse called “Viver Bem”. It is a virtual replication of a space that physically exists on Avenida República do Líbano in São Paulo. (Exame)
More than 500 fans from 35 countries purchased NFTs issued by Brazilian footballer Richarlison. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Inocentes, the Brazilian punk rock band from the 1980s, is releasing two new songs available as NFTs. (Livecoins)
Zebedee, a bitcoin startup co-founded by Brazilian entrepreneur Andre Neves, will allow players of solitaire and Sudoku games to earn bitcoin rewards via a new partnership with mobile game studio Viker. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Bianca Andrade, the influencer also known as “Boca Rosa”, announced the creation of her “Pink” avatar in the metaverse. She has roughly 18 million followers on Instagram, 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube and 2.1 million on TikTok. (Money Times)
Roberto Carlos, the former Real Madrid and Brazil national team footballer, is making an NFT and metaverse play in partnership with StarCard Sports Games. (BeinCrypto)
Converge is partnering with Social Digital Commerce to launch exclusive NFTs for attendees of the Brazil 2022 E-Commerce Forum. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Brazilian game studio Monomyto announced its first blockchain game title, Gunstars. It is a free third-person shooter battle that incorporates rewards and NFT transactions between player. Monomyto founder Rafael Costa said:
“Gunstars is a milestone in the democratization of NFTs for the entire community. Its 100% Brazilian DNA, which combines fun with web3 tools, has allowed us to take the players' experience to new levels by offering real autonomy and decision-making power over the fate of their assets.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Tatiana Revoredo discusses how NFT adoption by major brands is propelling the space forward despite the broader market downturn in an op-ed for CoinTelegraph Brasil.
NFT platform Tropix, which received an investment from Mercado Bitcoin, was acquired by Nano Art Market. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Solana-based game platform MonkeyLeague is partnering with Brazilian gaming startup BAYZ. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
🏛 Public Policy, Regulation and Enforcement
The Tribunal de Justiça de São Paulo has denied a petition by Binance to force Capitual to continue providing withdrawal and deposit services for the exchange. (Portal do Bitcoin) (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Valor)
The Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro will receive training from Binance on investigating crimes committed using cryptos and blockchain. The decision to select Binance to conduct this training was met with pushback by opponents in the country, like Mercado Bitcoin CEO Reinaldo Rabelo (Livecoins) (CoinTelegraph Brasil) (Portal do Bitcoin)
Federal Police are investigating whether an illegal mining operation used Binance to launder profits in cryptocurrency out of the country. (Metropoles)
Banco do Brasil is taking GAS Consultoria to court over a R$144,000 (US$28k) loan default. GAS allegedly took out the loan after Glaidson Acacio dos Santos had been arrested and imprisoned. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Brazilian trader and YouTuber Diego Aguilar purchased the Lamborghini of “Bitcoin King” Claudio Oliveira for R$845,000 (US$163,000). Aguilar garnered media attention earlier this year when he used a homeless man named Givaldo Alves to promote his day trading courses. (Portal do Bitcoin)
A new bill introduced by Deputy Cleber Verde would amend the penal code to impose a penalty of five years in prison for scams and frauds involving cryptocurrencies. Verde commented:
“Due to the ease of masking actions carried out with virtual currency, and the low supervision of the public power, the commission of crimes has become increasingly frequent.” (Portal do Bitcoin) (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Federal Police launched the second phase of an operation against an alleged criminal entity in Campinas accused of laundering money with cryptocurrencies, and moved to crack down on another gang in Goiania and São Paulo that had allegedly moved R$1bn in cryptocurrencies in two years (Livecoins) (Money Times)
The Receita Federal and Federal Police launched Operation Traders against fictitious traders who were actually running an alleged pyramid scheme in Parana, with victims in Curitiba, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Livecoins) (Portal do Bitcoin)
Brazil’s Public Ministry has requested the conviction of 15 defendants in the case of the Indeal pyramid scheme, which consisted of a promise of 15% monthly return on bitcoin investments in 2019. (Portal do Bitcoin)
A 23 year-old Federal Policeman in Goias was arrested for operating his own fraudulent cryptocurrency operation and stealing at least R$1m from friends and co-workers. (Portal do Bitcoin)
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