Rio Looking to Invest 1% in Bitcoin
According to a recent report by a local newspaper O Globo, Paes made his intentions known while speaking at a lecture at the Rio Innovation Week which started on January 13 and ended on January 16, 2022. The Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, was also present at the event. A statement by the Rio mayor, said:
“We are going to launch crypto Rio and invest 1% of the treasury in cryptocurrency.”
Furthermore, Paes said that he would set up a working group of the proposed crypto plan. Apart from allocating a portion of Rio de Janeiro’s coffers into bitcoin, there are also plans to offer a discount on taxes paid with BTC.
According to Rio’s Secretary of Finance and Planning, Pedro Paulo,
“We are studying the possibility of paying taxes with an additional discount if you pay with bitcoins. You take the discount of the single quota of 7% (of the IPTU) , it becomes 10% if you pay in bitcoin — Let’s study the legal framework to do this.”
Paes’ plan is similar to what Suarez is already doing in the United States. The mayor has been working on making Miami the crypto hub of the country. Back in December 2020, the Miami mayor stated that he was open to exploring the option of allocating one percent of the city’s reserves to bitcoin.
In January 2021, Suarez repeated that he wants to invest government funds into the leading cryptocurrency. Later in August, the Miami mayor unveiled the city’s token, called the “Miami Coin”, and is also working on enabling citizens to pay taxes with bitcoin.
Latin America Opening up to Cryto
Meanwhile, earlier in January, the Brazilian Senate revealed that the Economic Affairs Commission (CEA) will look into three bills regarding a cryptocurrency regulatory framework, in February 2022.
The crypto-related bills were presented by Senators Flávio Arns, Soraya Thronicke, and Styvenson Valentim. Meanwhile, there has been an ongoing debate in the Brazilian Senate for three years, regarding a crypto regulation.
According to a statement by one of the bill sponsors, Senators Arns:
“Our expectation is that it will be put to a vote at the beginning of the year. We know that this project is important for the impact of virtual currencies on services related to operations carried out with crypto-assets on electronic trading platforms. But, mainly, to fight crimes related to the fraudulent use of virtual assets.”
Meanwhile, the latest development from Brazil is a testament of the changing cryptocurrency landscape, not only in the country, but in Latin America. In December 2021, the Paraguay Senate approved a bill regulating cryptocurrency. However, further deliberations by the Chamber of Deputies about the bill is expected to happen in 2022.
El Salvador, on the other hand, made history as the first country in the world to legalize bitcoin as a legal tender. The Bukele-led administration has also been accumulating BTC, with the country currently holding over 1300 bitcoin.