Brazilians acquired $496 million in cryptocurrencies in August and have already acquired $4.27 billion so far in 2021, the country’s Central Bank (BCB) disclosed on Friday.
According to the Brazilian monetary authority, May was the peak of the cryptocurrency acquisition, with $756 million in purchases. Since then the figure dropped to $695 million in June and $583 million in July, but was still higher than in February and March. At that time $386 million and $357 million were acquired, respectively, Brazilian media outlet Portal do Bitcoin reported.
Doing a mark-to-market estimation, total digital assets held by Brazilians would add up to nearly $50 billion, compared to $16 billion held in U.S. stocks, BCB’s monetary policy director, Bruno Serra, said on Friday.
In August, BCB’s president, Roberto Campos Neto, said that Brazilians held about $40 billion in cryptocurrencies.
“It’s a very big business, it attracts the attention of regulators all over the world, it’s not just in Brazil,” he said.
According to Serra, Brazil’s monetary authority has a “very controlled foreign-exchange market” that allows it to be aware of crypto-related transactions. “We have foreign-exchange contracts for all transactions, 100% of them we are able to map,” he said.
As of August, the transfer of ownership of cryptocurrencies between residents and non-residents began to be disclosed by the Central Bank in the “Goods” part of the payments balance, Portal do Bitcoin reported., Cryptocurrencies are considered goods – or, non-financial and produced assets – following the International Monetary Fund’s recommended methodology.
According to Serra, crypto investing is a search for wealth diversification by investors. “I think this offshore diversification dynamic is a dynamic that may be here to stay. Diversification channels have opened up a lot. Foreign exchange regulations are loosening in this regard; it’s something we need to address,” he said.
“It’s a one-way flow. Because of the cost of energy, Brazil does not produce crypto assets. It is only an importer,” Serra added.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.