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Brazilian Central Bank Reveals CBDC Pilot Partners – One Is a Major Crypto Player

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Brazilian banknotes against a backdrop of a line graph.
Source: Rafael Henrique/Adobe

The Brazilian Central Bank has revealed the firms it will work on for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot – and the list includes the crypto-keen neobank Nubank.

According to an official Central Bank release, the bank wants to “evaluate the benefits” of the prototype digital real using a specially developed platform.

Nubank is one of the Latin America region’s fastest-growing neobanks, and has achieved unicorn status.

The firm has also been adding a range of crypto-related functions to its apps in recent years.

It has also launched its own cryptoasset.

And after initially shunning crypto firms from the pilot, it appears that the Central Bank has allowed a number of players from the sector to join.

Joining Nubank will be the likes of Itaú, another large conventional financial services provider with crypto interests.

Itaú late last year launched crypto custody services.

And a number of smaller crypto-only firms have been selected to work on the project, albeit as part of consortiums that also comprise larger companies.

This number includes the likes of the domestic crypto exchange Foxbit.

Foxbit was included as part of a consortium of firms that also comprises the investment provider Banco Arbi and the neobank Pinbank.

Joining the same consortium is nTokens, a firm that works with blockchain and stablecoin solutions.

Other big-name firms joining the pilot will be the likes of Microsoft, Visa, and Santander.

Domestic banking heavyweights like BTG Bank were also included on the list.

A chart showing Bitcoin prices versus the Brazilian real over the past 12 months.
Bitcoin prices versus the Brazilian real over the past 12 months. (Source: XE.com)

What Does Brazil’s Central Bank Hope to Achieve With Its CBDC?

The Central Bank says its platform makes use of blockchain technology and Distributed Ledger Technology for “operations with tokenized assets.”

The pilot will not yet involve real-world testing.

It will instead use “a simulated environment,” that does not make use of “transactions or real values.”

The bank wants to see if its coin can “promote greater efficiency, transparency, and security in financial operations.”

The bank has previously claimed that its CBDC will be designed in a manner that helps grow domestic businesses.