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Brazil includes cryptocurrencies in its balance of payments statistics

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The most recent report of the Central Bank of Brazil (Bancen) on the statistics of its external sector, includes the official recognition of cryptocurrencies as an asset or “well-produced” to consider in the calculation of the balance of payments. The report was released on Monday, August 26 through an institutional press release from the issuing body.

According to the communiqué, for this report and thereafter, the issuing body’s methodology for calculating the balance of payments in Brazil will incorporate the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies into an asset account. It also notes that cryptocurrency mining will, therefore, be considered as a “productive process”.

The balance of payments is a macroeconomic indicator represented in an accounting record of all the country’s business transactions with the rest of the world, in a given period. These operations may include payments for exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers.

The statement notes that, although they are digital assets, there is no customs register of cryptocurrencies: “Brazil has been a net importer of crypto assets, which has helped to reduce the trade surplus in the balance of payments account”, indicated. In this sense, the incorporation of the data corresponding to the sale of cryptocurrencies is aimed at maintaining the balance of payments of that country.

However, for some local media, this movement implies indirect recognition of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in Brazil. While, for others, assert that Brazil is an “importer of crypto-assets” and not make explicit recognition of its use as a means of payment denotes that, despite the efforts of Brazilian regulars, they still do not achieve a full understanding of cryptocurrencies.

Bancen notes that the inclusion of cryptocurrencies in the calculation of the balance of payments in Brazil is carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics. This is an advisory body of the Statistics Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This lineup is provided for in a document entitled Treatment of Cryptographic Assets in Macroeconomic Statistics, issued by the Aforementioned Statistical Department in October 2018.

Brazilian Thiago Lucena, CEO of startup Uzzo, told a medium that this classification of crypto-assets as an asset or product poses a problem that “the import of cryptocurrencies” should be declared. In his view, this procedure will make transactions more expensive, as it “increases bureaucracy and tax collection.”

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