Visa, Microsoft and others join Brazilian CBDC pilot

Both national and global companies will participate in the upcoming pilot project of the Brazilian central bank digital currency.

Both national and global companies will take part in the upcoming pilot project of the Brazilian central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Central Bank of Brazil will begin incorporating the participants in the digital real platform in mid-June 2023. 

On May 24, the Central Bank of Brazil published the final list of CBDC pilot participants. It chose them out of 36 bids, made by single companies and consortia, “totaling more than 100 institutions”. The final number of participants is 14 — however, some of them represent the group of companies. For example, the US-based tech giant Microsoft stands in one line with Brazilian bank Inter and the IT development company 7COMm, headquartered in Sao Paulo.

Among other participants are Visa, Spanish bank Santander and mostly Brazilian banking institutions, such as Itaú Unibanco, BTG Bank, Bradesco and others.

In the current phase of the digital real pilot, the Central Bank will test the privacy and programmability functionalities of its platform through a single use case — a delivery versus payment (DvP) protocol for federal public security.

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Brazilian CBDC pilot was officially announced in 2022. The value of digital real would be pegged against the national fiat payment system. As Bitcoin, it would have a fixed supply and only a certain amount of it would be minted.

With 214 million of population, the largest country in Latin America remains a site of attraction for global crypto companies. In January, Binance and Mastercard teamed up to launch a prepaid crypto card in the country. Since March, Coinbase has partnered with local payment providers to offer crypto purchases and enable deposits and withdrawals in the local currency. On May 19, Latam Gateway, the payment provider for Binance in Brazil, was granted a license by the Central Bank.

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