Digital assets have charted a course that can no longer be ignored. They’ve prevented enough over the past decade that countries and cities are beginning to realize that adopting the technology will position them better in the long run.
An all-in country on crypto is Brazil. Its 215 million citizens now live in one of the most crypto-centric economies in the world.
Crypto has been integrated into different levels of the Brazilian economy. Its exchange has six crypto-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including a traditional one. Bitcoin (BTC 1.93%) ETF and a newer ETF that tracks cryptos like Ethereum (ETH 5.10%), Uniswap (UNITED 5.20%)and Curve (CRV 6.43%) that require decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.
Big cities like Rio de Janeiro are showing how local governments can use digital and blockchain technology. In late July, Rio’s finance secretary said the city was considering adding Bitcoin to its treasury portfolio, saying the city hopes to become “Brazil’s crypto ecosystem” and the “capital of innovation and country’s technology.
Adherence to the highest levels of government and finance is also reflected in the ownership of cryptocurrency by Brazilian citizens. It is estimated that around 16% of people between the ages of 16 and 64 have some form of cryptocurrency. This leads all of Latin America and beats the United States, which comes in at around 12%.
The banks are coming
This 16% appears to continue to grow based on recent developments with the country’s banks. Last June, the country’s largest digital bank, Nu Holdings’ (NAKED 4.94%) Nubank, has launched its own crypto trading platform, allowing users to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum. In just under a month, the platform added over a million customers. Nubank also allocates 1% of its liquidity to Bitcoin to show its belief in cryptocurrency.
With its recent success, Nubank competitors are entering the crypto game. Santander Central Hispano Bank (NOT 0.41%)the fourth-largest bank in Brazil, announced that it will pursue a strategy to offer crypto-related products to its 53 million customers.
In a press release, Santander CEO Mario Leão said the bank is not pursuing crypto products in reaction to its competitors, but because it recognizes that it is a market that is here to stay. More details about the bank’s crypto products may be released in the quarterly earnings report in October.
The rise of the digital country
The path forged by the municipal governments, financial institutions and citizens of Brazil could be a model for the rest of the world. Bitcoin in particular seems to be the nation’s favorite, but the adoption of all crypto and blockchain-related technologies positions it as a leader in the digital economy.
Continued investment in this economy through job creation, more accessible commerce, and a more pro-crypto government ensures continued adoption of leading digital currencies. If other cities and Brazil follow, expect Bitcoin to proliferate across all sectors of the economy, proliferating its price, a development that will benefit crypto investors.