Banco Central do Brasil is set to expand its Digital Real Pilot Program in mid-June 2023 to include additional participants.
In an update on May 24, 2023, the Brazillian central bank revealed the final list of participants selected for the CBDC pilot program. A total of 14 participants were chosen from a pool of 36 bids submitted by individual companies and consortia, comprising a remarkable total of over 100 institutions.
The Brazilian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project saw strong interest from the industry. Among the selected participants is a consortium that includes Microsoft, a prominent technology giant based in the United States; Banco Inter, a Brazilian bank; and 7COMm, a digital technology company. Other participants include Visa, Santander, Itaú Unibanco, BTG Bank, Bradesco, and other Brazilian banking institutions.
The Brazilian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project was officially announced in April 2022. The project was meant to develop and test a digital version of the Brazillian Real. The digital Real would be tied to the national fiat payment system and operate similarly to Bitcoin, with a predetermined fixed supply and a limited amount available for minting.
The Brazillian Central Bank initiated the pilot phase of the Real Digital program to evaluate the privacy and programmability functionalities of distributed ledger technology (DLT). To achieve this, they will be implementing a targeted use case involving a delivery versus payment (DvP) protocol for federal public security.
The popularity of cryptocurrencies in Brazil has been on the rise, as evidenced by data from Receita Federal, the country’s tax authority. The trading volume of stablecoins among Brazilians surged to $11.4 billion between January and November 2021, marking a threefold increase compared to the previous year.
In November 2022, Brazilian lawmakers approved legislation recognizing Bitcoin as a digital currency suitable for payments and investment within the country. However, the full implementation of the bill requires presidential approval. Additionally, while the legislation permits Bitcoin’s use for transactions and investment, it does not grant it legal tender status in the country.
With the expansion of the Digital Real Pilot Program and the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Brazil, the country is taking significant steps towards exploring the potential of CBDCs and embracing digital innovation in the financial sector.
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