The Real becomes digital or digital becomes real? The Brazilian CBDC
The ranks of countries looking to issue their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) continues to grow with Brazilian Minister of Economic Affairs, Paulo Guedes, confirming earlier this year Brasil will be pursuing a CBDC.
Minister Guedes made the statement on 5 November during a ceremony celebrating the 100 millionth digital savings account opened at Caixa Economica Federal:
Now that the central bank is autonomous again, it’s also amazing in the digital dimension: Pix, OpenBank, fintechs and digital currency. Brazil will have its own digital currency. Brazil is ahead of many countries.
This follows Guedes comments on 7 October 2020 concerning an initial public offering of the newly created digital bank of Caixa Economica Federal which is expected to occur by April 2021.
The Digital becomes real?
On 21 August 2020, the Banco Central of Brasil announced that it had set up a study for the possible issuance of a digital Brazilian Real. The study’s general objective is to look into improving commercial transactions between private and public entities, nationally and internationally, and to explore a potential model for a CBDC.
Roberto Campos Neto, the President of the Central Bank of Brazil, has also been pushing Brazil to revolutionise its currency through the introduction of Pix, a federal digital payment system. Roberto Neto remarked:
Pix is very important because from now on we see the union of an instant, open and interoperable payment method with an open data system. Somewhere in the future they will find a coin that has yet to be perfected.
Although the Central Bank has not revealed how the digital version of the Brazilian Real will work, Campos Neto has said it will enter into circulation from 2022.
According to statements from the Banco Central, the digital real would be used mainly in foreign exchange transactions, both nationally and internationally.