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Visa, Microsoft, and Other Tech Giants Join Brazilian CBDC Pilot

Exciting developments are underway in Brazil as both national and global companies gear up to participate in the upcoming pilot project for the Brazilian Central Bank's digital currency (CBDC).

Exciting developments are underway in Brazil as both national and global companies gear up to participate in the upcoming pilot project for the Brazilian Central Bank's digital currency (CBDC).

Scheduled to commence in mid-June 2023, this initiative marks a significant step toward a digital future for Brazil's financial ecosystem. With the recent publication of the final list of CBDC pilot participants by the Central Bank of Brazil, it is clear that key players such as Visa, Microsoft, and several Brazilian banking institutions are eager to embrace this groundbreaking opportunity.

Out of 36 bids received from single companies and consortia, the Central Bank of Brazil has carefully selected 14 participants for the CBDC pilot. These participants include a diverse range of institutions, with both global and Brazilian companies making their mark. Notably, technology giant Microsoft joins forces with Brazilian bank Inter and the IT development company 7COMm, demonstrating their commitment to shaping the future of digital currency in Brazil. Other prominent participants include Visa, Spanish bank Santander, as well as notable Brazilian banking institutions such as Itaú Unibanco, BTG Bank, and Bradesco.

The current phase of the digital real pilot will focus on testing the privacy and programmability functionalities of the CBDC platform. To achieve this, a single-use case involving a delivery versus payment (DvP) protocol for federal public security will be implemented. This rigorous testing aims to ensure the digital real meets the highest standards of efficiency, security, and user privacy. By carefully evaluating these crucial aspects, the Central Bank of Brazil aims to build a robust and reliable CBDC that can transform the country's financial landscape.

Brazil's official announcement of the CBDC pilot in 2022 garnered significant attention, given the country's population of over 214 million and its status as the largest nation in Latin America. Global crypto companies have recognised the immense potential within Brazil's market and have begun forging strategic partnerships to capitalise on this opportunity. In January, Binance and Mastercard collaborated to launch a prepaid crypto card, while Coinbase has partnered with local payment providers to facilitate crypto purchases and local currency transactions. Additionally, the Central Bank granted a license to Latam Gateway, the payment provider for Binance in Brazil, further fuelling the country's digital transformation.

As Brazil embarks on its CBDC pilot project, the involvement of major players such as Visa, Microsoft, and various banking institutions signals a momentous leap forward in the country's financial sector. With a focus on privacy, programmability, and stringent testing, the Central Bank of Brazil is committed to creating a robust digital currency that meets the needs of its citizens.

As the pilot unfolds, it will undoubtedly shape the future of Brazil's financial landscape and potentially serve as a blueprint for other nations considering the adoption of their own central bank digital currencies. Stay tuned for more updates as Brazil pioneers its path into the digital era of finance.

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