Despite warnings from the government, Brazilians have latched onto the crypto bandwagon. With over 1.4 million bitcoiners and crypto investors, the vast South American nation undoubtedly has a vibrant virtual currency ecosystem. Now, bitcoin exchanges and cryptocurrency related businesses are creating rival associations instead of uniting themselves under one umbrella in the ‘spirit of the blockchain.’
A Divided House
According to reports, reputable blockchain-powered digital currency exchanges in Brazil recently came together and formed an association that would ‘defend the rights’ of the vast array of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, investors, and evangelists in the region.
Three significant exchanges – Bitcointrade, Mercado Bitcoin, and Foxbit, as well as other smaller exchanges, created an organization called Associacao Brasileira de Criptoeconomia (ABCripto). However, other firms in the industry who felt the ABCripto ‘house’ wasn’t big enough to contain the entire Brazilian crypto population, also started their association.
Led by Atlas Project, a firm offering Fintech services in the region, these companies erected a different association dubbed Associacao Brasileira de Criptomoedas e Blockchain (ABCB).
While both organizations have different views concerning how the nation’s digital currency ecosystem should be regulated, they are both bent on making sure Brazil’s cryptocurrency industry remains vibrant and conducive enough for businesses.
ABCripto is determined to make its association one who takes care of a large number of crypto-related businesses. The association is looking to fight for the regulation of cryptocurrencies as assets. Vice President of ABCripto, Natalia Garcia hinted that the body is waiting to be given the relevant directives by the regulatory authorities.
ABCB President Commits to ‘Defend the Cryptocurrency Markets in Brazil’
Garcia told Portal do Bitcoin she only got to know about the other association recently. Garcia also reiterated that in the coming weeks, ABCripto would launch into action in collaboration with some bitcoin exchanges. In her words (roughly translated):
“I’m concerned an association does not have any relevant exchanges. Everybody on the market knew we were building an association and getting ready to talk to other players in the market.”
Notably, ABCB is open to any form of the regulatory framework provided it won’t stifle the growth of the virtual currency ecosystem. President of ABCB, Fernando Furlan reiterated that the body would “defend the cryptocurrency markets in Brazil, defend privacy, and regulations that won’t end innovation. There is legal uncertainty. Depending on the purpose, it may be considered a means of payment or a financial asset.”
Additionally, Furlan stated that ABCB’s primary objective is to make it easy for its member firms in the blockchain ecosystem to scale regulatory hurdles, by acting as an intermediary between authorities and crypto-related businesses.
A Reasonable Compromise
Contrary to the opinions of many, ABCB has reportedly been in the works since October 2017, shortly before ABCripto was formed. However, both organizations have decided they will forget about all frivolities and concentrate more on the task ahead, for “the good of the nation.”
At a time when Brazilians are turning to blockchain technology in a bid to reduce the rate of corruption and illegal practices by government officials, regulating the virtual currency system in a manner that encourages innovation will do the country a whole lot of good.