Itau Unibanco, the largest bank in Brazil, offers cryptocurrency trading

The largest bank in Brazil (and Latin America in general), Itau Unibanco, allows its clients to trade Bitcoin and Ether. To understand the scale of this phenomenon, I will add that it facilitates access to digital currencies for as many as 60 million customers.

Itau Unibanco will sell you bitcoin

The bank's investment app allows users to buy and sell bitcoin and ether. It's part of a broader project. Already in December 2023, the bank enabled the BTC trading option for selected clients.

Itaú's head of digital assets, Guto Antunes, told the media that the bank's decision is not accidental. Earlier, the institution conducted a survey among its clients. Many of them replied that they were interested in investing in digital assets. Although we do not know exactly how many people use the cryptocurrency option today, Antunes admitted that after the announcement of the latest decision, the bank's trading application, Ion, was downloaded as many as 3.5 million times in a short time. This shows the scale of Brazilians' interest in bitcoin.

Interestingly, the bank decided to build its own wallet where it stores customer funds. Does not use third party services. Each user receives a separate address in the bank's system. That is, the same as on the stock exchange or in a mobile cryptocurrency wallet.

Brazil is pro-cryptocurrency

It is worth adding that this is not the first such pro-cryptocurrency movement in Brazil. In early 2023, Banco do Brasil, an institution that has been operating continuously for over 200 years, announced that it had entered into a partnership with cryptocurrency service provider Bitfy. As part of this cooperation, Brazilians will be able to pay their taxes in the form of cryptocurrencies.

The authorities themselves use blockchain technology. The country's government announced at the end of 2023 that more than 214 million Brazilians will soon use blockchain to confirm their identity. Rio de Janeiro, Goiás and Paraná have become the first states whose officials will issue identification documents based on blockchain. Everything is based on a private network developed by Serpro.