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Banking Giant Santander To Offer Bitcoin, Crypto Services In Brazil: Report

  • Santander Brazil will begin offering services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in coming months.
  • The CEO said the bank will release more details by or before its next quarterly results report.
  • The bank’s consideration of these new services is not directly influenced by competitor interest in the space, the CEO said.

Santander Brazil, the third-largest private bank in the country, is preparing to launch services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, its CEO Mario Leao said, according to a report from local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

“We expect to have definitions about it in the next few months, who knows in the next release [of quarterly results], or even before,” said Leao.

“We recognize that this is a market that’s here to stay,” Leao continued, adding that the bank’s jump onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon is not necessarily a reaction to competitors but rather a response to client demand.

Recently, Brazil’s largest digital bank Nubank, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, bought bitcoin and added bitcoin trading to its mobile application, enabling 53 million Brazilians to easily purchase BTC. XP, the largest investment broker in Brazil, and Itau Unibanco, the country’s largest private bank, also announced the imminent offering of similar services to customers. Investment bank behemoth BTG Pactual is also dipping its toes into the market.

Brazil has experienced a heightened level of adoption for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Last year, Chainalysis, an on-chain analytics firm, released a report detailing the top 20 countries globally based on differing metrics to measure adoption. Brazil ranked 14th on the list for overall adoption while also ranking fifth for total on-chain value transacted.

Brazil’s heightened bitcoin adoption links back to the country’s increased innovations in the broader financial services sector; Brazil’s Pix payment system allows any user to instantly transfer payments 24/7, any day of the week. The country is also home to Latin America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Softbank-backed Mercado Bitcoin.

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