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Exchanges Make 99.7% of Brazil’s Cross-border Crypto Trades

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Exchanges Make 99.7% of Brazil’s Cross-border Crypto Trades

Tim AlperTim Alper

Last updated:

| 2 min read

A pile of metal coins intended to represent Bitcoin on the national flag of Brazil.A pile of metal coins intended to represent Bitcoin on the national flag of Brazil.
Source: Alexey Novikov/Adobe

Exchanges that buy coins overseas to sell on the domestic market account for most of Brazil’s cross-border crypto trade, a Central Bank report has found.

The findings were published in an official post from the bank’s data analysis team.

The authors reported that trading platforms dominate the nation’s coin-buying activities.

And the authors noted that from 2020 to 2022, “the share of international transactions carried out by Brazilian residents (individuals) in the [crypto trade space was only 0.3%.” As such, they added:

“The share of domestic financial and non-financial companies therefore represented 99.7% [of cross-border crypto trading volume].”

The authors also noted that the cross-border “flow” of cryptoassets has “grown significantly in recent years” in Brazil. They wrote:

“Transactions between Brazilian residents and non-residents – almost exclusively imports – went from an insignificant level in 2017 to $7 billion in 2022.”

Brazil Crypto Adoption Increasing?

The bank began publishing monthly crypto “import and export” data in 2017 in a bid to keep track of capital flows in the sector.

This data has shown a series of massive upticks in recent months, with volumes of $184 million recorded in August 2023.

Volumes fell to $45 million in September 2023, rising slightly to $55 million in October.

However, volumes rose back up to 85% in November. The bank is yet to publish its December 2023 statistics at the time of writing.

By contrast, cross-border crypto trade volumes stood at a mere $2 million in January 2022.

The bank mainly uses crypto exchange-provided data to make its calculations, however.

This means that international Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Over-the-Counter (OTC) trading – both of which are popular in Brazil – are not accounted for.

The report’s authors also noted that the bull market of 2019 saw a peak in trading volumes, hitting the $161 million mark, with 2022’s figures down to $109 million.

However, the data also points to a rise in adoption. Brazilians may have traded less in terms of value since 2019.

But they have also been much more active on exchange platforms in recent years.

Brazilian individuals and firms executed 18.8 million “cross-border” crypto transactions in 2019.

In 2022, by contrast, they carried out a whopping 68.7 million transactions.

At the end of 2023, the crypto exchange giant Coinbase stated that Brazil expansion was now a “central area of focus” for the company.

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