The largest independent brokerage in Brazil, Grupo XP, recently released its plans to launch a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform by the end of 2018. What’s interesting is that the government of Brazil has supported this initiative – which is how it entered today’s Bitcoin news category.
The CEO of Grupo XP, Guilherme Benchimol, has stated that his business will integrate both Bitcoin and Ethereum in the existing infrastructure of the brokerage – which will allow more than 3 million investors to invest in the emerging asset class.
After receiving complaints that crypto exchanges received subpar financial services from local banks, on September 20th, the government of Brazil and its antitrust watchdog launched a formal investigation into banks and major financial institutions. The officials at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) then stated:
“However, it does not seem reasonable for banks to apply such restrictive measures a priority on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and the anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms conferring unlawful treatment per se on businesses brokering cryptocurrencies.”
Even though the CEO of Grupo XP said that he is not ‘a big fan’ of cryptocurrencies as a store of value or consensus currency, he stated that the company feels obligated to start penetrating the market. His view is that ultimately, investment firms are required to meet the demands and needs of their clients.
As he explained:
“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does. We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.”
At this point, the decision of Grupo XP is monumental for the South American cryptocurrency market – mostly because it comes in time when the government of Brazil has already taken its first approach towards legitimizing the market with financial services and banking partners. There is support from the government – which may transcend to an encouragement and potential regulation of this market in the country.
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“You probably noticed how many entrepreneurs have had to close their doors recently by order of the municipality. To prevent you from being the next one, you must immediately take action.’’In order to pay the extortion fee, the business owners are instructed to open a new account on two crypto exchanges and them being Coinbase and Coinmama. Next up they have to buy bitcoins on either one of the exchanges and then transfer them to a required address. At least three coffee shops have already received a threat like this in Amsterdam and also a few nightclubs. The criminals even said that the extortion fee will be doubled if the owners don’t make the payment in five days. The email recipients must keep the threat confidential and they are warned for informing the police or any other law enforcement body. If they don’t maintain the confidentiality, the extortion fee will reach a stunning 200,000 euros. However, there is no single business registered to have paid the said amount.
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