- Brazil’s largest brokerage firm, Grupo XP, has opened a crypto exchange
- The head of the Brazilian central bank has previously called cryptocurrency a Ponzi scheme
- The exchange aims to have $245 billion in assets by 2020
Some firms have openly rushed into the blockchain business with enthusiasm. It is safe to say that Grupo XP is not one of them.
While the firm has launched a cryptocurrency exchange for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the firm has previously shown reluctance to enter the market.
However, the growth of cryptocurrency, particularly in Brazil, could not be ignored by them any longer. Their CEO Guilherme Benchimol explained during an event in Sao Paolo that the number of Brazilians who are interested in cryptocurrency has surpassed 3 million, compared to the 600,00 who are interested in stocks.
This level of interest pushed the firm to finally invest in cryptocurrency. Benchimol said:
“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does. We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.”
The exchange is to function as an independent arm of the business and will have 40 dedicated employees and will be headed by Thiago Maffra.
This is another sign of the growing interest in cryptocurrency in Brazil. Earlier this week, regulators announced that funds were now allowed to be used for foreign crypto investments.
This comes as a bit of a surprise considering the Brazilian central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn has previously compared cryptocurrency to a Ponzi scheme.
Grupo XP has achieved great success in traditional brokerage and plans to recreate the same success with cryptocurrency.
They plan to have over 1 trillion reais ($245 billion) in assets by 2020 and also have plans to open a bank in the coming months.
This mirrors XP’s usual method of aggressiveness when entering a new market. When they first opened up shop a few years ago, they dominated the Brazilian market by offering online banking options to Brazil’s middle class.
Xp sold a stake in itself to Itau Unibanco Holding SA last year for over 12 billion reais.
Moving with the times
Cryptocurrency, in its early days and even till now, has faced great resistance from the general public who do not trust it and the corporate world who see it as a fad, or a Ponzi scheme as the Brazilain Central Bank head remarked.
Slowly but surely, many have come around to see the need to embrace cryptocurrency as the currency of the future or get left behind.