The Brazilian subsidiary of Santander Group could become the next domestic institution that offers crypto services to users.
Banco Santander (Brasil) – the Brazilian arm of the Spanish banking giant – revealed intentions to offer cryptocurrency services to clients. By doing so, the company will join a range of local institutions that have already hopped on the digital asset bandwagon, including BTG Pactual, Nubank, PicPay, and XP Inc.
Brazil Might Have a New Crypto Player
In a recent interview for a local media, Brasil Santander’s Chief Executive Office – Mario Leão – said his bank could provide crypto-related services to its over 9 million customers. He further informed that the offering will take a few months to become live:
“We expect in the next few months to have definitions about it, who knows in the next release [of quarterly results], or even before.”
Leão presented himself as a true advocate of the digital asset universe, believing it “is here to stay.” The offering will be introduced not because rival companies rush to enter the sector but because Banco Santander’s users have been showing a great 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 competitors positioning themselves. It is simply a view that our client has demand for this type of asset, so we have to find the most correct and more educational way of doing so.”
Speaking of other Brazilian firms that started providing crypto solutions, it is worth mentioning BTG Pactual, Latin America’s largest digital bank – Nubank, and PicPay. Earlier this week, the country’s leading brokerage company – XP Inc. – disclosed it will release a digital asset exchange called XTAGE. It is expected to become publicly available by mid-August as, initially, it will allow trading with bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
Brazil’s Crypto Environment
The biggest nation in South America is known as a crypto-friendly location since a large portion of its residents is intrigued by the asset class. At the same time, numerous authorities and regulators have displayed a positive approach.
According to a survey conducted by Gemini, Brazil is the global leader in cryptocurrency adoption, sharing the first position with Indonesia. 41% of the polled Brazilians admitted owning bitcoin or altcoins.
For its part, the country’s financial hub – Rio de Janeiro – has a mayor keen on the industry. At the beginning of 2022, Eduardo Paes announced intentions to allocate 1% of the city’s Treasury in bitcoin. He also wants to turn Rio into a global digital asset center:
“Rio de Janeiro has everything it takes to become the tech capital of South America. Events like the Rio Innovation Week come to strengthen the city’s image as the perfect place to work, live, and innovate.”
A few months later, Rio’s authorities said they might accept BTC payments for taxes. If successful, the move will turn it into the first local city with such a step.
The Brazilian government is also predominantly open to the crypto realm. The latest presented bill sought to recognize bitcoin and other digital currencies as legal financial assets.