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The potential of cryptocurrency in Brazil exceeds that of traditional financial markets
At an event in Sao Paulo, Guilherme Benchimol, CEO of Grupo XP, announced the launch of a cryptocurrency exchange in Brazil. Grupo XP is the parent company of XP Investimentos SA, one of the biggest independent brokerages in Brazil. Benchimol added that the exchange will begin operations with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
At present, almost 3MM Brazilians are aware of and actively engaging with Bitcoin. Although initially unwilling, Benchimol admits that the sheer volume of Brazilians participating in the use of cryptocurrencies necessitated the decision to create the exchange.
While not personally interested in cryptocurrencies, their boom (and business potential) forced his hand. “I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does,” Benchimol said to Bloomberg. “We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.”
XDEX will be a separate business line within Grupo XP’s umbrella organization and is set to start with around 40 employees.
Foreseeable growth ahead for Grupo XP and Brazil’s cryptocurrency industry
XP Investimentos has expanded rapidly in recent years, offering online investment platforms for Brazil’s growing middle class. As part of his announcement, Benchimol also shared the company’s intention to launch a bank in the upcoming months.
In support of the digital currency economy, Brazilian regulators are implementing favourable cryptocurrency policy. Brazilian regulators recently released a set of rules that allows funds to invest in crypto assets outside Brazil, with some limitations.
Even the head of Brazil’s central bank, Ilan Goldfajn, who once compared cryptocurrencies to a Ponzi scheme, has changed his stance towards them. He went so far as to say that they are “an innovation that must be incentivized”.
Cryptocurrencies have permeated Brazilian culture, and a Brazilian football team appears to have launched its own cryptocurrency.