CB of Brazil adds Mercado Bitcoin in CBDC pilot w/ Mastercard.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in Brazil, Mercado Bitcoin, has been authorized by the country’s central bank to participate in the pilot of the digital real, which is Brazil’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). The consortium, which is led by Mercado Bitcoin and includes Mastercard, broker Genial, registrar Cerc and financial software fintech Sinqia as partners, has been given the green light to test the issuance of the CBDC and treasury bills, and to test technical aspects of the network and the governance model of the distributed ledger technology. The CBDC is expected to be launched by the central bank in 2024, with the aim of increasing participation in the financial system.

State-owned Brazilian bank Caixa, along with card provider Elo and Microsoft, has also been authorized to participate in the CBDC pilot, which will begin incorporating participants into the Real Digital Pilot platform in mid-June 2023. Mercado Bitcoin had initially been excluded from the central bank’s choice of 14 participants in May, due to the consortium lacking at least one regulated financial or payment institution with direct access to Brazil’s national financial network. However, Mercado Bitcoin received the payment institution license from the central bank on 2 June and was subsequently given permission to participate in the pilot. The director of new business at Mercado Bitcoin, Fabricio Tota, stated that the exchange’s participation validates the central bank’s intention to bring innovation to the financial system with those who have already been working with this technology.

Walter Pimenta, executive vice president of Products and Engineering at Mastercard Latin America and the Caribbean, said that the company was pleased to be part of the consortium selected to join the Real Digital pilot in Brazil, and that Mastercard continues to engage in a series of partnerships to build trust and compliance in the digital assets ecosystem, while also solving real-world problems.

Read more: Brazil Central Bank Plans to Launch a CBDC in 2024

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.