Brazil legalizes cryptocurrencies as mode of payment

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But lawmakers want agency to regulate crypto ecosystem

The legislative body of Brazil passed a bill that legalized cryptocurrency as a mode of payment that is expected to further boost the use of digital money globally amid a wave of financial scandals and continuing winter in the sector.

The measure, approved by the Chamber of Deputies, is awaiting signature of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for it to be enacted into law. 

Its passage is significant as Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and it came as the fallout from the bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX of disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried continues to be felt in the crypto space in the hundreds of millions of US dollars.

It also followed the move of El Salvador last year to enact a law legalizing crypto payments. The Brazilian bill however does not make any cryptocurrency legal tender, compared to El Salvador, which adopted bitcoin as currency.

Reports from the Brazilian media, it will be up to the executive branch to decide what agency will regulate the sector.   Tokens classified by the Brazilian government as securities are under the jurisdiction of the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários, the country’s equivalent to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The bill also sought to establish rules on cryptocurrency exchanges.

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