Cryptocurrency can promote entrepreneurship and social justice, writes Ruairi Luke McCallan in Hacker Noon, and this is no more evident than in Brazil.
The Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (ABCB) was launched in São Paulo last week with the aim of increasing the debate around digital currencies with the government. Bitcoin News reported recently that Febraban, the Brazilian Federation of Banks with 126 associated members, has now published tests of its research into blockchain technology. A survey conducted by Febraban in 2017, found that 65% of industry executives in Brazil said their businesses are currently studying blockchain implementation. The digital direction appears to be forward thinking.
Such moves are progressive, but McCallan argues that it seems that the “free-flowing nature of Brazilian soccer or salsa dancing” doesn’t translate into the country’s economic policy. Often cited as an economy on the rise, Brazil is one of the most corrupt and economically controlling governments in Latin America, ranking 153rd in the world for economic freedom, according to new Heritage Foundation think tank study. Also, both former and current presidents are facing charges of economic corruption and mismanagement.
The decentralized nature of Bitcoin and blockchain is currently allowing some Brazilians to avoid and circumvent prohibitive lengthy government legislation and over-regulation. New technology allows some traders, consumers and business owners to upload encrypted documents backed by blockchain, thereby avoiding lengthy verification processes.
Writing in Valuewalk, Brazilian author and Youtube star Raphaël Lima laments: “Brazil needs Bitcoin… According to a study by Credit Suisse, Brazil’s productivity has not risen since 1981, and it’s not going to rise if the government keeps banning everything that can make us more productive.”
It appears that the Brazilian government is listening. The new ABCB agency, which was started by a fintech Atlas Project, has said that it wants to lead projects based on global cryptocurrency and blockchain advances. ABCB’s management believes that the lack of a legal framework is the main barrier towards Brazil’s further progress in crypto space, and with the World Cup and Brazilian presidential elections imminent, no quick fix is expected.
With a wait of 83 days or more for a business permit for anyone wishing to do business in Brazil, it appears that the government isn’t in a hurry.
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