Ten Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges and one over-the-counter/private (OTC) dealer face fines of up to 25,000 USD if they don’t answer a questionnaire by the Brazilian anti-trust authority by October 19.
The Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) issued the questionnaire after it ran a concurrent anti-trust investigation. The companies must offer, among other details, data on possible damages caused by the closing of bank accounts.
The exchanges that received the communication are Mercado Bitcoin, Bitcambio, BitcoinTrade, Foxbit, Walltime, Braziliex, BitBlue, Capital Digital Abierto (OTC), e-juno and Profitfy. These exchange platforms now have the opportunity to be heard by the antitrust authority, as some financial institutions have already submitted information on the case.
What Does The CADE Request?
The regulator asks the crypto exchanges to clarify whether they were denied any request to open an account, whether their accounts were blocked or closed, and if they maintained an open account as a result of a judicial decision.
The superintendency has already received information from Banco do Brasil and Itaú. These entities denied having committed irregularities when they closed the exchange accounts. The central allegation of the banking institutions for such action is the absence of regulation of the sector, which could increase the risk of illegal practices. However, the authority does not believe that the lack of adequate regulation makes it unlawful at the time of the actions.
CADE also requested crypto exchanges to explain in detail their anti-money laundering and prevention of financing of terrorism and organized crime policies. They must also provide information on the procedure for client registration.
The president of the Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB), Fernando M. Furlan, expressed his satisfaction with CADE’s actions. In statements to the local portal Valor Econômico, he said:
“The opening of the administrative investigation against the banks and the ex officio sending by CADE to the exchanges and brokers of cryptocurrencies, containing a quite significant questionnaire on the situation they face, keeps us with positive expectations regarding the process.”
ABCB was the institution that requested CADE to open this investigation against the banks. Furlan, who was president of the antitrust agency, has already participated in discussions on the subject within the institution.
For now, the investigation will continue with the new information provided by the crypto exchanges.