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First-of-its-kind cryptocurrency banking coming to Brazil

By:
on Dec 5, 2023
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  • Brazil has its first ever crypto trading offering from a commercial banking institution.
  • Clients of Itaú Unibanco will now be able to buy or sell cryptos Bitcoin and Ethereum and more via the bank.
  • The news has been met with enthusiasm, as speculation for Bitcoin reaches ever higher highs this week.

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Brazil’s largest bank by assets under management, Itaú Unibanco, announced today on December 5th that it would offer customers cryptocurrency trading at the bank.

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This will be the first of its kind in the Latin American country.

For now, the bank has said that it will keep the offering small and selective – only Bitcoin, Ethereum and potentially Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash will reportedly be offered – but that it hopes to branch out into other cryptos as time goes on.

Itaú Unibanco’s CEO, Candido Bracher, said in a statement to the press that:

We believe that crypto can play a key role in the future of finance, and we want to offer our customers access to this new asset class in a safe and convenient way.”

Unsurprisingly, the news has been met with much interest in Brazil in the hours since the announcement, with the popularity of search term ‘itau bitcoin’ up more than 150% in the past seven days.

The crypto trading platform itself is to be hosted by prominent United States cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust, Itaú Unibanco’s partners in the venture.

Gemini has had its own headlines of late, having been sued by the SEC earlier this year for their controversial Gemini Earn offering, as well as more recently being sued by the state of New York and Genesis Global over Gemini Earn as well.  

No specific date has yet been released as to when this will roll out in the bank’s branches. However, Itaú Unibanco has suggested that it may be as soon as within the first quarter of 2024.

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Bitcoin Ethereum Litecoin Crypto Crypto business Finance & Banking South America