Mercado Bitcoin, the largest local crypto exchange in Brazil, has been authorized by the country’s central bank to participate in the pilot of the digital realm, the South American country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Mercado Bitcoin’s consortium is a powerhouse of Brazilian financial institutions, including Mastercard, broker Genial, registrar Cerc, and financial software fintech Sinqia.
The Brazilian central bank has approved the participation of state-owned bank Caixa, card manufacturer Elo, and tech giant Microsoft in its CBDC pilot program.
Mercado Bitcoin was initially blocked from participating in the central bank’s digital real pilot because its consortium lacked a regulated financial or payment institution with direct access to Brazil’s national financial network.
Mercado Bitcoin’s exclusion from the central bank’s pilot of the digital real was short-lived, as the company received a payment institution license on June 2.
Mercado Bitcoin’s inclusion in the central bank’s pilot of the digital real is a positive development for the Brazilian financial sector, as it shows that the government is open to new ideas and willing to work with companies that are at the forefront of innovation, stated Fabricio Tota, director of new business at Mercado Bitcoin.
The central bank plans to incorporate participants in the Real Digital Pilot platform in mid-June 2023. The consortium plans to test the issuance of the CBDC and Treasury bills, as well as technical aspects of the network and the governance model of the distributed ledger technology.
The Brazilian central bank plans to launch its digital currency, the CBDC, by 2024. The bank sees this as a way to increase financial inclusion and make it easier for people to access the financial system.