Brazil Cryptocurrency Laws

Brazil and Cryptocurrency

Brazil Cryptocurrency Laws
Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology

Brazil has not currently enacted regulations or legislation specifically regulating cryptocurrency.  Nonetheless, existing legal and regulatory structures provide guidance with respect to cryptocurrencies.

Virtual currencies do not currently fall under the definition of legal currency under Brazilian law.  Under the Decree-Law 857-69 and Law 10192/01, the Brazilian real is the country’s legal currency.  Cryptocurrencies are generally considered assets under the general Civil Code regime.  See Law 10406/02.

Initial Coin Offerings–at least those that intrinsically take on the functional characteristics of a security–may be subject to the Capital Markets Law and the Brazilian Securities Exchange Commission (CVM) regulatory framework.  As such, offerings may be subject to CVM Ruling 400/03 and/or other CVM guidance.

Currently, Brazilian law does not provide for an anti-money laundering regime specific to virtual currencies.  However, the existing Anti-Money Laundering Law like extends to virtual currencies in a number of contexts.

Brazilian Tax Law

Brazilian tax law does not currently provide for cryptocurrency-specific provisions.  However, Brazilian tax authorities provide guidance in the for of Q&As, which require that virtual currencies must be declared in income tax statements and capital gains derived from the sale of virtual currencies are subject to income tax.

The Brazilian government has expressed concerns over the risks posed by cryptocurrencies.  In late 2017, for example, the Brazilian Federal Reserve Bank (Banco Central do Brasil) issued Notice No. 31,379 alerting citizens to the risks arising from the custody and trading operations of virtual currencies.  The notice stated in part as follows:

Considering the growing interest of the economic agents (society and institutions) in so-called virtual currencies, the Brazilian Federal Reserve Bank warns that these are neither issued nor guaranteed by any monetary authority, so they have no guarantee of conversion to sovereign currencies, nor are they backed in real assets of any kind, being the entire risk of the holders.

. . .

4. Companies that negotiate or keep so-called virtual currencies on behalf of users, natural persons or legal entities are not regulated, authorized, or supervised by the Brazilian Federal Reserve Bank. There is no specific regulation on virtual currencies in the legal and regulatory framework related to the National Financial System. The Brazilian Federal Reserve Bank, in particular, does not regulate or supervise operations with virtual currencies.

5. So-called virtual currency is not to be confused with the definition of electronic money referred to in Law 12,865 of October 9, 2013, and its regulation by means of normative acts issued by the Brazilian Federal Reserve Bank, according to the guidelines of the National Monetary Council. . . . . [1]

In late 2020, Brazilian lawmakers proposed legislation that would regulate cryptocurrencies and provide for a series of laws governing business use of cryptocurrencies.

P.S. Insights on Cryptocurrency Legal Issues

Most jurisdictions and authorities have yet to enact laws governing cryptocurrencies, meaning that, for most countries, the legality of crypto mining remains unclear.

Under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), crypto miners are considered money transmitters, so they may be subject to the laws that govern that activity. In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.

However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining.

Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.  The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:

The Freeman Law Project – Cryptocurrency Regulation and Taxation: A Brief Primer

Is cryptocurrency legal in Brazil?
Do you have questions about
cryptocurrency, digital currencies, or blockchain technology?
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[1] Banco Central do Brasil, Comunicado No. 31.379, de 16 de Novembro de 2017, normativos/busca/normativo.asp?numero=31379&tipo=Comunicado&data=16/11/2017, archived at by author).

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