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Largest Bank in Brazil Itau Unibanco Opens Cryptocurrency Trading to All Users

Itau Unibanco, the largest bank in Brazil and all of Latam, has reported the availability of cryptocurrency trading services for all its users. Through Ion, the bank’s in-house investment platform, customers can purchase bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), a feature previously available to selected users.

Brazilian Banking Giant Itau Unibanco Opens Cryptocurrency Trading Services for All Customers

Banks are realizing the potential of offering cryptocurrency opportunities and traditional finance services. Itau Unibanco, the largest bank in Brazil and Latam with over 60 million customers and close to 100,000 employees, has announced the general availability of cryptocurrency trading services for its customers.

While this feature was launched in December, the functionality was only available for selected consumers and was slowly expanded to more users. First, Itau had to assess the level of acceptance these assets had as part of Ion’s platform, the bank’s investment app. According to Guto Antunes, head of Itaú Digital Assets, the acceptance was high, as customers trusted Itau’s cryptocurrency custody solution.

Antunes clarified the bank developed its custody solution, where each customer has a digital wallet with segregated assets. Antunes stated:

We have a stake and a partnership with Liqi, but nothing in terms of custody. The entire custody solution, since it was conceived, has been done with architecture and fiduciary duty within Itau.

The platform will only provide the already available digital asset offering, consisting of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), to customers, although they are already considering new cryptocurrency inclusions. However, as a regulated banking entity, Itau is still expecting the central bank of Brazil to issue regulations regarding the treatment of stablecoins for their inclusion on its Ion platform. “We are aligned with the central bank in the development of regulation, we want to grow in the right way,” Antunes stressed.

Before, in July 2022, the bank launched tokenization services, creating the Digital Assets unit to this end. This unit would act as a service provider for companies wishing to put their assets on the blockchain and to wider financial markets.

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