Brazil’s B3 Exchange Receives Regulatory Approval to Launch Bitcoin Futures in April

Brazilian exchange operator B3 has received approval from the country’s securities regulator to introduce Bitcoin futures trading. 

On Thursday, the platform said the Bitcoin futures trading is scheduled to commence on April 17, according to a report from Reuters

Currently, B3 offers exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and ETF receipts related to cryptoassets. 

With the addition of Bitcoin futures, the exchange aims to meet the growing demand for derivatives that provide a hedge against price fluctuations or directional exposure to the popular cryptocurrency.

B3’s Bitcoin Futures Will be Tied to Nasdaq

The Bitcoin futures contracts offered by B3 will be tied to the Nasdaq Bitcoin Reference Price, with each contract representing 10% of Bitcoin’s price in Brazilian reais. 

It is important to note that these futures contracts will involve financial settlement, meaning there will be no actual buying or selling of physical bitcoin.

“The launch meets the demand for a derivative that allows a hedge against bitcoin’s price fluctuations or a directional exposure to the asset,” Felipe Goncalves, B3’s superintendent of swap rates and currency products, said. 

He said that the move by B3 signifies a significant step in the integration of cryptocurrencies into the traditional financial market of Brazil. 

By offering Bitcoin futures, B3 provides investors with a regulated and secure platform to participate in Bitcoin trading, leveraging the price movements of the digital asset.

Brazil Warming Towards Digital Assets

Brazil has been moving toward digital assets and innovative technologies like blockchain. 

Last year, the country announced it is set to issue digital identification documents for its more than 214 million citizens using blockchain technology.

The decision to leverage blockchain technology for digital identity stems from its inherent properties of immutability and decentralization. 

Alexandre Amorim, president of Serpro, said that blockchain technology is crucial for protecting personal data and preventing fraud. 

He claimed that the b-Cadastros blockchain platform significantly enhances the security and reliability of the National Identity Card project, offering a more secure digital experience for Brazilian citizens. 

In addition to the digital identity project, Brazil is also making strides in the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

In August, the government provided more details about the project, which has been rebranded as Drex. 

The CBDC aims to expand business access to capital through a tokenization system associated with the Drex. 

More recently, the central bank of Brazil vowed to tighten rules and strengthen its oversight of crypto platforms amid growing crypto adoption in the country.

Roberto Campos Neto, the governor of Brazil’s central bank, said last October that “cryptocurrency imports” by Brazilian residents have risen 44.2% in the period between January and August 2023 compared to the same period last year.

“We understand that a lot is connected to tax evasion or linked to illicit activities,” Neto said while stressing that oversight of the crypto sector in Brazil will be strengthened going forward.

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