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Brazilian Central Bank Changes its Cryptocurrency Classifications

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The Brazilian central bank – the Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) – has made changes to the way it classifies cryptocurrencies.

Source: iStock/Madrolly

In an official announcement, the BCB says that it is moving in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF)-issued guidelines on cryptocurrencies. From now on, the BCB said, “the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies (specifically in cases where there is no issuer) will be logged as ‘produced assets,’ which means [crypto trading] statistics will be included in balance of payments asset calculations.”

The BCB says it has made the move in order to address balance of trade statistics, and stated,

“Brazil is a net importer of [cryptocurrencies], a fact that has contributed to a reduction in the trade surplus when making balance of payments calculations.”

The BCB also noted that prior to the change, Brazilians’ purchases of cryptocurrencies using overseas exchanges were not showing up on official central bank records.

And the BCB has also declared, “Cryptocurrency mining activity will now be considered as a productive process.”

The IMF guidelines, published in a document named “Treatment of Crypto Assets in Macroeconomic Statistics,” were first released last year, and institutions such as the European Central Bank have already begun to implement them.

Although the move may have little immediate impact on individual investors in the country, it comes as part of a host of sweeping measures aimed at regulating Brazil’s fast-growing cryptocurrency industry – and will be seen by many as a further boost for crypto-awareness.

Earlier this month, the country’s National Treasury renewed calls for citizens to report all cryptocurrency transactions – with fines for non-compliance.

The parliament of São Paulo, Brazil’s richest state, is also on the verge of introducing a tax on cryptocurrency earnings. And last month, the former BCB governor Gustavo Franco spoke in glowing terms about Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra project.