Banco Santander (Brazil), the Brazilian arm of the Spanish banking giant, revealed intentions to offer cryptocurrency services to customers. In doing so, the company will join a variety of local institutions that have already jumped on the digital asset bandwagon, including BTG Pactual, Nubank, PicPay and XP Inc.

Brazil could have a new crypto player

In a recent interview for a local outlet, Brasil Santander CEO Mario Leão said that his bank could provide cryptocurrency-related services to its more than 9 million customers. He further reported that the offer will take a few months to be active:

“We hope in the coming months to have definitions in this regard, who knows in the next release [of quarterly results]or even before.”

Leão presented himself as a true defender of the digital asset universe, believing that “it is here to stay”. The offer will come not because rival companies are rushing into the sector, but because Banco Santander users have shown a huge appetite for the asset class:

“We recognize that it is a market that is here to stay, and it is not necessarily a reaction to the positioning of competitors. It is simply a vision that our client has a demand for this type of asset, so we have to find the most correct and most educational way to do it”.

Speaking of other Brazilian companies that started providing crypto solutions, it is worth mentioning BTG Pactual, the largest digital bank in Latin America: Nubank and PicPay. Earlier this week, the country’s leading brokerage company, XP Inc., revealed that it will launch a digital asset exchange called XTAGE. It is expected to be publicly available in mid-August as it will initially allow bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to be traded.

The crypto environment of Brazil

The largest nation in South America is known as a crypto-friendly place, as a large portion of its residents are intrigued by the asset class. At the same time, numerous authorities and regulators have shown a positive approach.

According to a survey conducted by Gemini, Brazil is the world leader in cryptocurrency adoption, sharing the top position with Indonesia. 41% of Brazilians surveyed admitted to owning bitcoin or altcoins.

For its part, the financial center of the country, Rio de Janeiro, has a mayor who is fond of the industry. In early 2022, Eduardo Paes announced intentions to allocate 1% of the city’s Treasury in bitcoin. He also wants to turn Rio into a global hub for digital assets:

“Rio de Janeiro has everything it takes to become the technological capital of South America. Events like the Rio Innovation Week come to strengthen the image of the city as the perfect place to work, live and innovate”.

A few months later, authorities in Rio said they could accept BTC tax payments. If successful, the move will make it the first local city with such a step.

The Brazilian government is also predominantly open to the world of cryptocurrencies. The latest bill introduced sought to recognize bitcoin and other digital currencies as legal financial assets.

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