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Brazil Regulator Prohibits Funds from Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Brazil Regulator Prohibits Funds from Investing in CryptocurrenciesBrazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday that local investment funds are prohibited from investing in cryptocurrencies. The country’s regulators are currently working on crypto regulation; seven public hearings have already been held to discuss this subject. Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

No Crypto Investments Allowed

Brazil Regulator Prohibits Funds from Investing in CryptocurrenciesThe Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (CVM) on Friday issued a circular addressed to all officers responsible for the administration and management of investment funds in the country. It states that direct acquisitions of cryptocurrencies by investment funds “are not allowed.” Reuters elaborated: “Cryptocurrencies cannot be considered financial assets, regulator CVM ruled, in effect barring funds from investing directly in assets such as bitcoin.” Furthermore, local funds interested in investing in cryptocurrencies indirectly by taking a stake in foreign funds should await further clarification from the regulator. The circular reads: We consider it appropriate for managers and investment funds to await further and more conclusive manifestation of this oversight on the subject to structure the indirect investment in cryptocurrencies as described, or even in other alternative forms that seek this kind of exposure to risk.

Crypto Regulation Being Discussed

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies established a special committee in May of last year to discuss the regulation of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. Seven public hearings were held in the second half of 2017 to debate this topic. In December, the CVM and the Central Bank of Brazil published a joint statement warning about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Brazil Regulator Prohibits Funds from Investing in CryptocurrenciesIn the same month, “House Representative Expedito Netto made formal recommendations that would essentially ban bitcoin from being traded, created, held for third parties, or exchanged for fiat currency unless legal permission is granted,” Value Walk described. While recommending a penalty of 1-6 months’ jail time or a fine for violations, Netto did not clarify what “permission” mean. At the December public hearing held at the Chamber of Deputies, the executive manager of Banco do Brasil’s Digital Affairs Directorate, Jonatas Ramalho, defended the creation of rules that would allow a more favorable environment for the use of cryptocurrencies. According to him, “The regulation of bitcoin and similar [assets] could open the way for banks to offer products and services aimed at cryptocurrencies.” What do you think of Brazil’s regulator prohibiting funds from investing in cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the CVM.
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