Brazil’s Biggest Brokerage is Entering the Crypto Market, Despite Reluctance From CEO

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The CEO of Grupo XP, the largest independent brokerage in Brazil, said the firm is going to launch a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading exchange in the next few months.

CEO Guilherme Benchimol made the remarks at a recent event in Sao Paulo. He mentioned how the decision by the firm hinged on the fact that about 3 million citizens were exposed to Bitcoin, while only 600,000 invested in stocks.

A Reluctance To Enter

Despite his remarks, Benchimol admitted the company “felt obligated to start advancing in this market,” even though he’s not the biggest fan of cryptocurrency, explaining how “this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist.”

Grupo XP is the owner of XP Investimentos, which made headlines in April after a news outlet had an article alleging the company would be launching a Bitcoin brokerage.

Writing in an exclusive from local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, a reporter cited information from the Internal Revenue Service to allege the company “will enter strongly into the crypto-currency market.” An anonymous source said the firm would be getting involved in the over-the-counter market.

According to Bloomberg, the upcoming exchange will remain separate from Grupo XP’s other operations and be called XDEX.

Easing Up On the Crypto Market?

Previously, Brazilian Central Bank head Ilan Goldfajn said cryptocurrencies were analogous to a bubble or a Ponzi scheme. However, regulators in the country recently published rules that permitted how funds could invest in overseas crypto-assets.

In late August, Portal do Bitcoin wrote about an effort by the Brazilian government to send questionnaires to some Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges. Reportedly, the effort was to get information in order to “protect the integrity of the financial system.”

Questions covered topics like compliance, control over operations, mitigation of risks related to terrorist financing and money laundering, and control over identification.

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