É Boa Pra Caramba! roughly translated means ‘amazing’ in Brazilian Portuguese. Regional Bitcoiners might be using the expression more these days after Brazil New Party presidential candidate João Amoêdo came out recently as very pro-bitcoin. Mr. Amoêdo is heading into a contentious election this October. In an interview, when asked about cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, he thought it was neither a threat to his country’s financial system, and that it comes with certain “advantages.”
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Pro Bitcoin João Amoêdo is a Candidate for President in Brazil
João Amoêdo is running for President of Brazil. He agreed to a recent interview with a regional news outlet, Portal Do Bitcoin. In it, the candidate spoke with some savvy about cryptocurrency, blockchain, and bitcoin, which politicians aren’t always known to do. He also seems to largely approve of the innovations crypto provides.
“I see the blockchain as a protocol that increases the reliability and integrity of the data,” Mr. Amoêdo, 55 explained. “There are obvious applications, such as for interbank transfers or to register as a notary. Another, not so commented, is to use the blockchain to follow the productive chain of products. No matter how much ANVISA strives, it could hardly find out where they put cardboard in the meat. With the blockchain, this would not be a problem. We could follow every step of the production chain of a product, ensuring less bureaucracy and more intelligence.”
João Dionisio Filgueira Barreto Amoêdo was an engineer prior to his political career. He founded the party under which he is running, the New Party, about a decade ago. Reportedly, he was fed up with being overtaxed, and wanted to see more privatization of government services in Brazil. The party’s platform is one for individual liberties and free markets, something like the United States’ Libertarian Party. Libertarians have been known to support cryptocurrencies.
Mr. Amoêdo continued, “But this is just the beginning. The possibilities of using the blockchain go much further. It is possible to establish digital identities online, electronic voting platforms, increase transparency and accountability in public management. Facilitate and make transparent bidding processes, among many other things,” he told Portal Do Bitcoin.
“I do not think they are a threat to the traditional banking system.”
One key questions for potential office holders is of crypto and national security. That excuse alone is a magic ‘anything goes’ card when dealing with enthusiasts, many of whom have been prosecuted all over the world for doing little more than trading. “I do not think they are a threat to the traditional banking system. I see advantages in providing another means of payment for consumers,” he assured.
On whether cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin could be considered legal tender in the country, he was slightly less committal. “As a means of payment, I see no doubts that bitcoin can be understood as a legal payment method. If both parties want to exchange a product via bitcoin,” Mr. Amoêdo detailed, “I do not see any legal barriers to doing so.”
The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America with more than 200 million people. It also the largest economy in all of Latin America, ranking 8th in the world in terms of purchasing power. More than half of the population works, as unemployment is right around 6 percent, and per capita income is close to $16,000 a year. The country has also had a notoriously rocky relationship with its currency, at times pegging it to the US dollar, and corruption is so rampant in government it actually impacts eventual purchasing power on the world market.
“But it must be clear that the country has only one national currency, one that has a legal course,” the candidate for Brazil’s highest office, sounding every bit a conventional politician, “that is, the one that people are obliged to accept, the real. No other currency, including the dollar, has this characteristic. Only the real. In addition, there are restrictions on the use of the dollar for payments and as a currency of account, which are the same for any other foreign currency, including crypto-coins. The Internet is as if it were another offshore and it is fair that governments compel people to give information about what they have there, as they force them to report on assets abroad. The internet is not meant to be tax haven.” The election is about a month and a half away, and already there are calls of voting irregularities before a single ballot has been cast.
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