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Cryptocurrency Imports in Brazil Break Records and Begin to Affect Trade Balances

Purchases from foreign cryptocurrency exchanges, considered imports, have broken records in Brazil, putting some weight into the nation’s trade balance. During the last 12 months, cryptocurrency purchases reached $14.84 billion, after reaching $12.3 billion last year. Likewise, crypto imports reached $4.69 billion in Q1 2024, rising by 118% compared to the numbers registered in Q1 2023.

Brazil Registers $4.69 Billion in Cryptocurrency Imports During Q1 2024

Cryptocurrency purchases, classified as imports in Brazil, have broken previous records and are starting to be significant in the country’s trade balance. Numbers released by the central bank indicate that crypto purchases rose to $1.751 billion in March, elevating the numbers corresponding to Q1 2024 to $4.69 billion.

This represents a rise of 118% more than the $2.15 billion registered in Q1 2023, meaning that purchases more than doubled during this period, possibly fueled by the appreciation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In the last 12 months until March, crypto purchases reached $14.84 billion, a sizable increment compared to the $12.3 billion reported for the same period the previous year. Due to this significant growth, cryptocurrency purchases are now in the sights of economists due to their weight in Brazil’s deficit in this field.

Sergio Goldenstein, chief strategist at Warren Investimentos, told Valor Economico about the relevance of these numbers for the cryptocurrency trade balance. He stated:

This number of cryptocurrency imports is not negligible, on the contrary, it is a very relevant number, which is already weighing in the balance.

However, this trend is unlikely to change given that conditions for producing cryptocurrency in the country through mining are unfavorable. Current energy prices average $0.14 Kwh, a relatively high fee that makes it difficult for cryptocurrency mining companies to settle in the country and establish operations there.

Livio Ribeiro, a partner at BRCG Consultoria, predicts a negative balance of $18 billion for the cryptocurrency trade balance by this year. Citi recently reported that Brazil was at the top of the digital money initiatives in Latam.

SOURCE

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