Brazil Holds Hearing on Bitcoin Regulation Bill Amid Oversight Push

Stan Higgins
Nov 20, 2015 at 18:20 UTC
Updated Nov 21, 2015 at 14:58 UTC
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Brazil’s House of Representatives held a hearing this week to discuss a bill that would give the country’s central bank oversight of digital currency activity in the country.

JusBrasil reported that, during the hearing, the head of Brazil’s lead anti-money laundering agency, Antonio Gustavo Rodrigues of the Council for Financial Activities Control, advocated that the country work in tandem with both other countries as well as international organizations.

The hearing was held by the lower house’s Consumer Protection Committee, which is weighing a measure that would add virtual currencies to a list of “payment arrangements” under the supervision of the Banco Central do Brasil, the country’s central bank.

According to an announcement for the hearing, speakers included a representative from Central Bank of Brazil, CoinBR CEO Rocelo Francisco Bezerra Lopes, Leandro Vilain John of the Brazilian Federation of Banks and Guilherme Santos Mello, a researcher for the State University of Campinas.

According to JusBrasil, Rodrigues voiced opposition to regulating digital currencies, stating that “rules convey the feeling that the currency is safe”. He went on to state that there is little evidence crimes in the country are being committed with digital currencies, though he reportedly pointed to the use of bitcoin ATMs as a possible money laundering risk.

Central bank representative Anselmo Pereira Araujo Neto said (according to Google Translate) during the hearing that, while international examples are important, any regulatory frameworks that are developed must be rooted specifically to Brazil.

“We will not copy international rules that are not adapted to our reality,” he said. “While we want transparency, we try to encourage new technologies in the market logic.”

The discussions come as governments worldwide, including the European Union, weigh whether to boost oversight of activity involving digital currencies in a bid to prevent rumoured terrorism finance efforts using the technology from occurring. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that G7 finance ministers met to discuss the matter, a move that comes months after the group first declared its intention “to ensure greater transparency of all financial flows” by monitoring digital currency activity.

The full text of the Brazilian bitcoin bill can be found below:

PL 2303-2015

Image via Shutterstock