Brazil’s Banking Giant Itau Unibanco Launches Crypto Trading Service
Brazil’s Itau Unibanco launched crypto trading service on its investment platform, becoming the latest local entrant in digital asset market.
Brazil’s largest banking institution Itau Unibanco, announced a cryptocurrency trading service for clients on its investment platform, positioning itself as the latest local entrant into the digital asset exchange market.
The initial offering of the service includes popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, with plans to incorporate others in the future, based on the evolution of crypto regulations in the country.
“It starts with Bitcoin, but our overarching strategic plan is to expand to other crypto assets in the future”, said Guto Antunes, Head of Digital Assets at Unibanco.
The move puts Itau in direct competition with local players such as crypto exchange MB and the digital assets unit Mynt of investment bank BTG Pactual, along with global entities like Binance. Although, Itau Unibanco distinguishes itself by serving also as a custodian, safeguarding users’ assets, which ensures its ability to withstand competition in the digital asset platform landscape.
This development follows the exit of two local players, XP and PicPay from the crypto market about a month ago, with regulatory uncertainties cited as a contributing factor.
Growing Crypto Adoption in Brazil Prompts Regulatory Response
Cryptocurrencies have gained traction in Brazil, with the country ranking ninth in terms of cryptocurrency adoption, according to a recent Chainalysis report.
The increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies has earlier led Brazil’s central bank Banco Central do Brasil, to respond by tightening regulations on the digital assets regulation and bringing crypto platforms under its supervision.
Last week, the Brazilian Senate approved new income-tax regulations. If sanctioned by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, citizens could be subject to up to a 15% tax on earnings from cryptocurrencies held on international exchanges.
The regulation, effective potentially from Jan. 1, would apply to Brazilians earning more than $1,200 from foreign exchanges and investment funds with a single shareholder.
The entrance of Brazil’s largest banking institution Itau Unibanco, into the digital asset exchange market by introducing a crypto trading service highlights the evolving landscape in Brazil’s digital asset industry amid growing crypto adoption.
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