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"Cryptocurrencies do not fulfill the functions of the currency”, says president of the Federation of Banks


President of Febraban, Murilo Portugal, during an event of the World Economic Forum (Photo Robert Giroux / IMF)

"Cryptocurrencies do not fulfill any of the classic functions of the currency," said the president of the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), Murilo Portugal, during a debate at the FHC Foundation on Friday (20).

The debate, entitled 'Impact of the Digital Revolution on the Financial System', dealt with the impacts of new technologies on financial services. Among the topics, fintechs, Big Data, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.

According to Portugal, cryptocurrencies do not comply with any of the three fundamental principles of fiat currency, which are unity of account, means of exchange and reserve of value.

“They are actually called coins but they are not coins, which is why it is cryptocurrency. They do not fulfill any of the classic functions of the currency, which is to serve as an account unit, where people can express prices. They do not serve as a means of payment or as a store of value because the volatility is very high, ”he said.

The president of Febraban commented on the digital revolution as a whole, which, according to him, "is transforming economic sectors in a radical way". He also detailed the evolution in the granting of credit, payments and insurance.

This revolution is a combination of new technologies in the areas of computing and communication that is generating a wave of innovations.

According to the president, money and information are becoming equivalent. In this way, he believes, data and information will end up being regulated in the same way as money.

"It is an experience that I think we already see happening," he said.

Febraban says Brazilian is already digital

According to the president of Febraban, the Brazilian is already digital, especially the young generation. "They are in another world, not in the world we were used to," he commented.

To emphasize, Portugal talked about some numbers. As he detailed, in Brazil internet access is 56% and more than 75% of the economically active population has a cell phone.

Therefore, according to him, the current moment requires simplicity, practicality, speed and security in transactions.

"We are in a very fast financial transition," he said.

Murilo Portugal has a solid career built in the economic sector of the public sector and in international organizations.

Graduated in Law from UFF (RJ) and with a degree in Economic Development from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), he held several public positions in Brazil – Casa Civil and Tesouro Nacional.

He also served as executive director of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until he held the post of number one post in the Federation of Banks of Brazil, in March 2011.

According to Folha, his departure from Febraban is scheduled for the end of March this year.

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