Cryptocurrency continues to draw new users to Web3 daily, particularly in emerging markets like Brazil, according to Bitcoin maximalist José Ribeiro, CEO of crypto exchange Coinext.
At the Web Summit in Lisbon, Ribeiro spoke with Cointelegraph’s Joe Hall about his perspective on Bitcoin (BTC), Brazil’s vibrant crypto economy, and how regulatory clarity has boosted competition in the country’s payments sector.
Ribeiro projects that Bitcoin volume transactions in Brazil will reach a record level in 2023 as more global crypto exchanges set operations there, such as Binance, OKX, and Coinbase.
“The competitiveness has increased considerably, which is part of the business from a crypto adoption perspective. The country has a history with inflation, and I see that interest rates are going to be down next year for sure, and we’re going to have another cycle,” Ribeiro said.
The benchmark interest rate in Brazil is currently 12.25%, down from 12.75%, and may reach 9.25% by December 2024, according to a recent survey by the local central bank.
Alongside lower interest rates in Brazil, global drivers such as the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the United States and the Bitcoin halving are expected to affect prices. However, Ribeiro believes that the crypto community should focus on fundamentals rather than price movements.
“People just hear about Bitcoin when the price is hitting all-time highs, right? […] But people don’t talk too much about fundamentals, and the fundamentals haven’t changed since its creation.”
Ribeiro also highlighted the importance of regulatory frameworks in boosting innovation in the country, stating, “We are very advanced in terms of forms to comply with the tax authorities.” He added that Brazilian regulators are willing to engage in discussions about crypto and payments, understanding the risks and the need for regulation to stay competitive.
In recent years, the Brazilian central bank has implemented the Pix payment system, allowing instant payments between individuals and businesses. The country is also working on its central bank digital currency, dubbed DREX, which is expected to be available next year and will significantly impact blockchain adoption in Brazil’s financial market industry.
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