🇧🇷Brazil Crypto Report #16: Christ the Redeemer Coin?
Welcome to 🇧🇷 Brazil Crypto Report #16 for the week of Oct 11-15, 2021.
We’re pretty stoked about the launch of bitcoin futures ETFs in the US this week, but it’s worth remembering that Brazil already has not one, not two, but five crypto ETFs currently trading on the B3 stock exchange ( two bitcoin, two ether, one mixed).
In this week’s BCR we look at Brazil’s burgeoning Star Atlas community, a proposal to raise capital improvement funds for Rio de Janeiro’s signature Christ the Redeemer statue via cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the launch of the state of Minas Gerais’ blockchain network, and a roadblock in the fight over the crypto regulation bill lurching through the Brazilian congress.
As always, thanks for reading.
🎉 Obrigado to Our Partner Non-Fungible Brasil
The team recently launched its Eu Ajudo o Pantanal NFT series with an eye for promoting and preserving the Pantanal - the world’s largest tropical wetland located in southwestern Brazil. The photography for this project is absolutely beautiful and showcases the region’s biological diversity. All NFT sale proceeds will go to SOS Pantanal, a non-profit devoted to preserving one of the world’s environmental treasures.
Be sure to visit the Eu Ajudo o Pantanal marketplace on OpenSea before scrolling further!
👩💻Brazil Crypto Hiring Spotlight
Ripple is seeking a technical services engineer for it’s São Paulo office.
For Portuguese readers, CoinTelegraph Brasil has a handy run-down of different Brazil crypto related jobs here.
🗞Brazil Crypto News Rundown 🗞
QBTC11, Latin America’s first bitcoin ETF, has doubled in price since commencing trading in June, up from R$10 to R$20 per share. The QR Capital managed ETF now has R$193m (US$35m) in assets under management. QR CEO Fernando Carvalho said that the growth is an indication of strong demand and product-market fit:
“Offering safe and affordable exposure of any home broker to this asset class has really opened the doors for investors, both retail and institutional. As a liquid and uncorrelated product, QBTC11 is a form of portfolio diversification.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Brazilian exchanges processed US$1.3bn worth of crypocurrency trades in September, down roughly 10% from the prior month. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Photo credit: CoinTrade Monitor
Cashback startup Méliuz is finalizing the acquisition of fintech Acesso Bank, which provides financial services - including on- and off-ramps - to Binance in Brazil. The acquisition awaits approval by the Banco Central and comes amid revelations that Binance was one of the primary platforms used by ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’ Glaidson Acácio dos Santos to launder funds out of the country. (Metropoles)
Mercado Bitcoin is sponsoring the UEFA Champions League for its 2021-2022 competition in one of its largest-ever marketing buys. One of the largest football events in the world, the Champions League will be broadcast on the American television network TNT. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
AES Brazil is creating a blockchain-based trading platform for energy trading. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
OSL, the Hong Kong-based liquidity provider and OTC desk, is ramping up its operations across Brazil and the Americas. It’s providing digital asset liquidity services to exchange traded funds, crypto hedge funds and banks offering crypto investment services to retail clients. (Money Times)
Brazilian DeFi project Pods is now live on Ethereum mainnet after operating with limited functionality on Polygon since June. It is an on-chain options protocol that seeks to create markets for any ERC-20 token using algorithmic pricing an automated market maker. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Flamengo, the popular Rio de Janeiro football club, will release its ‘fan token’ $MENGO to the public on October 19th via the Socios platform. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Pedro Bial, one of Brazil’s most well-known journalists, is starring in a new Hashdex advertising campaign aimed at bringing crypto education to the masses. The campaign kicked off with a commercial during Globo’s popular Fantastic news magazine show. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The Christ the Redeemer Sanctuary is launching a new investment fund for capital expenditures on the century-old iconic statue in Rio de Janeiro. As part of this campaign, Omar Raposo, head of the sanctuary, said he wants to include a Christ the Redeemer cryptocurrency or potentially a commemorative NFT: “I want to make a cryptocurrency of Christ. God inspires.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The city of Florianópolis is rolling out plans to embrace blockchain and quantum computing technology to help accelerate local economic growth. The city, which serves as the capital of the southern state of Santa Catarina, has made concerted efforts in recent years to become friendly for startups, with roughly 4,000 such companies operating there currently. (Livecoins)
Brazil’s Ministry of Economy is promoting a course for its employees on cryptocurrencies through the national National School of Public Administration. (Livecoins)
The state of Minas Gerais launched the first nodes of its blockchain network for government services, making it the first Brazilian state with its own blockchain network for public administration. The network will provide enhanced information sharing, trust, decentralization and traceability for applications such as asset registries and digital identity. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Atlético Mineiro is a successful test case for how Brazilian football clubs are utilizing cryptocurrencies and tokens to engage fans and draw more revenue. In August, it launched its $GALO ‘fan token’ through a partnership with Socios that raised US$1.7m - half of which went to the club, in addition to undisclosed licensing royalties. Atleticano player NFTs have also accounted for $600,000 worth of trading on the Sorare platform since May. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
dWater Project, an initiative of Ceará-based Blockchain One has been selected for the Celo Camp Startup Pathway, an accelerator focused on scalable and sustainable businesses that use blockchain tech. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Nubank, the Brazilian unicorn digital bank registered a US$14m profit for the first half of 2021, marking its first profitable semester since its founding eight years ago. (Reuters)
🎮 NFTs and Gaming
17 year-old Brazilian artist Laura Wagner is creating an NFT series to support social causes. Her first collection, called “Eyes for Brazil”, highlights the difficulties faced by low-income families affected by the Covid pandemic. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Brazil’s Star Atlas community is already the largest in the world. The Brazilian StarAtlas Alliance guild, where players collaborate and form teams in the recently launched ‘play to earn’ game, is now the largest of any country. (Money Times)
Brazilian NFT marketplace Tropix raised US$2m in a seed round led by 2TM, the holding company that controls Mercado Bitcoin. Other participants included Mago Capital, Norte Capital and Marcelo Sampaio of Hashdex. (Exame)
Brazilian skateboarder Bob Burnquist launched his own NFT collection. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
🏛 Policy, Regulation and Law Enforcement
Banco Central President Roberto Campos Neto highlighted the transformative potential of the decentralized finance sector at a Bank for International Settlements event. He re-emphasized the Banco Central’s commitment to integrating it into its Digital Real designs. He explained:
“The DeFi sector is is a promising use of blockchain technology and we have to participate in this sector to build programmable money. In Brazil, we are already working on this path of complete integration of Open Finance with the Digital Real.”
At the same event, Campos Neto also said that he views stablecoins as ETFs that are issued by unregulated private companies, and that they can cause distortions in the market. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The state legislature of Paraiba is considering a law that would require companies operating in the cryptocurrency space to prove each year that they are not operating a pyramid scheme. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Another cryptocurrency investment business in Cabo Frio is closing its doors, leaving investors holding the bag. Decolar Investimento had promised its investors 20% returns through various through various crypto investment vehicles, but shut down earlier this month without returning funds to investors. Crypto pyramid schemes have become so rife in Cabo Frio that the city has earned the nickname “Little Egypt”. (Portal do Bitcoin)
Deputy Gilson Marques publicly criticized legislation proposed by Aurelio Ribeiro that seeks to regulate cryptocurrency businesses, arguing that it will increase bureaucracy and limit freedom. In an Instagram post, he stated the bill would create a bureaucratic morass and impose a host of limitations on cryptocurrency trades. Marques also spoke out against provisions in the bill that would oblige crypto exchanges to send client data to the government and require businesses to obtain authorization before operating in the crypto. The legislation has been approved at committee level and is next up for a full plenary vote in the Chamber of Deputies. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
The head of Brazil’s Receita Federal, the national tax authority, is ramping up calls for a federal tax on financial activities that lie on the margin of the regulated financial system, such as bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, cashback and airline mile programs, etc. “The government is attentively observing to enter the debate at the opportune moment,” said Jose Tostes Neto, who has been pushing for a tax on bitcoin transactions since 2019.
However, Tostes Neto’s stance comes in contrast to that of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, who abandoned an effort earlier this year to include a new tax that would impact cryptocurrencies as part of a broader tax reform effort. (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Representatives from Brazil, the US and 31 other countries met on October 13 and 14 to discuss how to respond to ransomware attacks using cryptocurrencies. (Valor Investe)
A former Universal church pastor allegedly embezzled US$12.5m of offering funds and routed them into the GAS Consultoria bitcoin pyramid scheme, which was busted in August. Federal Police documents indicate that Nei Carlos dos Santos, formerly a pastor at the Igreja Univeral in Brasilia, was a partner of GAS mastermind Glaidson Acácio dos Santos - known as the ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’. 11 other ex-Universal pastors are being investigated by Distrito Federal police on similar allegations. (Metropoles)
A court in Porto Alegre began hearing defense witnesses in the InDeal trial. InDeal is accused of operating a US$200m bitcoin pyramid scheme in 2019 before being shut down by Federal Police in “Operation Egypt.” (CoinTelegraph Brasil)
Police in Rio de Janeiro are investigating fake covid-19 vaccine passports being sold in exchange for bitcoin. (CoinTimes)
Federal Police in Sao Paulo arrested Michael de Souza Magno, who was wanted as part of “Operation Kryptos,” carried out last month against GAS Consultoria. Known as the “Celebrity Broker”, Souza is alleged to have been a close advisor to GAS ringleader Glaidson Acácio dos Santos and helped him carry out crimes against the financial system. (Extra)
Magno appears next to a helicopter in a photo posted on social meida
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 estrangeiro (foreigner) English-speaking audience.
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