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Brazil’s Bitcoin bill gets approval from Senate

The Bitcoin bill was first proposed in 2015 by Federal Deputy Aureo Ribeiro.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Wed, 27 Apr 2022, 08:14 am UTC

Brazil just became the latest country to regulate its crypto industry. The country’s Senate just passed a bill, also known as the Bitcoin bill, that will regulate digital currencies in the country.

The Brazilian Senate approved the crypto bill in a plenary session on Tuesday night, Coindesk reported. This sets the stage for the creation of a regulatory framework that will govern the crypto industry in the country.

However, the bill will still need the approval of the Chamber of Deputies and the signature of President Jair Bolsonaro before it becomes law. Experts told Cointelegraph Brazil that this will likely happen by the end of 2022.

“I want to congratulate the rapporteur of the project, Senator Irajá, for the approval, here in the Plenary of the Senate, for this important bill,” Senate President Rodrigo, who chaired the plenary session, said.

The Bitcoin bill was first proposed in 2015 by Federal Deputy Aureo Ribeiro. It classifies crypto companies as “virtual service providers” and makes them subject to the same accountabilities as other financial institutions for crimes against the country’s financial system.

If approved, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission will no longer oversee the crypto industry except for initial coin offerings (ICO). The Senate determined that Brazil’s executive branch would be responsible for the formulation of rules for crypto-assets and create a new agency to regulate the sector or delegate the task to either the Central Bank of Brazil (BC) or back to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

During the session, several senators including the bill’s author, Senator Arns, discussed penalties for crypto crimes such as fraud. The bill originally introduced a penalty of between four and eight years in prison for crypto crimes but was reduced to between two and six years upon the request of Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco.

The penalties must be proportionate to the amount of value affected by this type of crime,” Senator Arns said. “So whoever committed a crime of US $1 billion causing damage to thousands of people would have a greater penalty than someone who affected less value.”

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