Cryptocurrency adoption comes in the most unlikely places. While the world always looks to developed countries to lead cryptocurrency developments, several developing nations are taking charge and making progress.
Fresh off a year of huge strides in crypto adoption, Brazil is hitting the ground running in 2022.
Rio is Becoming a Cryptocurrency Hub
Earlier this month, Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, announced that he plans to put 1 percent of the city's treasury into Bitcoin. According to local news reports, the mayor is talking plans for a "Crypto Rio" that would turn Rio de Janeiro into a cryptocurrency hub.
Speaking at the Rio Innovation Week, Paes said he believes in cryptocurrencies and their potential to jump in price. His panel included several major Brazilian officials, including Pedro Paulo, the city's finance secretary, who said Rio de Janeiro's government wants to impose a 100 percent discount on property tax when payments are made using Bitcoin.
Paes said the government must play a role in growing cryptocurrency adoption. He said the city is considering introducing taxation exemptions for crypto companies setting up in the city, plus additional incentives designed to boost the city's local crypto industry.
Interestingly, the crypto panel also included Francis Suarez - the mayor of Miami - who runs several crypto initiatives in his city. Suarez got massive attention when he said he would take one of his paychecks in Bitcoin.
Suarez launched MiamiCoin - a city cryptocurrency project aimed at increasing revenues and financing several social programs. If anyone knows much about cities embracing cryptocurrencies, it's Suarez.
Suarez is one of the most crypto-friendly mayors in the US right now, joining the likes of New York City mayor Eric Adams and more. This new breed of mayors is essential going forward as crypto lovers want to improve the industry's regulatory standing.
Brazil is Becoming a Country to Watch
Rio de Janeiro's plan to convert city reserves to Bitcoin suggests the city is following Brazilian authorities and warming up to crypto. Last November, Federal Deputy Luizão Goulart - a congressman in the country - proposed a bill to make cryptocurrencies a legal payment method for private and public sector workers.
In Goulart's proposal, the congressman seeks a new law allowing Brazilian workers to request remuneration in cryptocurrencies. The bill proposed to ask for crypto payments only after selling an agreement between employers and workers. The workers could also set the limits of crypto remunerations, and would have complete freedom to choose the types of coins and terms of payments.
If signed into law, the bill will establish a consensus between employers and workers, setting the payment percentages in fiat and crypto. Goulart explained in part:
"Most importantly, the proposal will help collaborate in the resolution of the "cash" problem of the Federal, State and Municipal governments by offering payment alternatives, and at the same time, moving a gigantic Market Economy that lies ahead."
Encouraging Miners to Come In
Brazil also aims to become a bedrock for crypto mining. Last month, local news sources reported that Brazilian lawmakers had submitted proposals calling for tax exemptions for importing crypto mining rigs - plus any additional mining that uses renewable energy.
Data from the International Trade Administration notes that Brazil currently produces just under 50 percent of its electricity from renewables. With $0.12 per kilowatt-hour in costs, the country charges relatively competitive rates compared to other countries.
Reports added that Congress heard a proposal to categorize crypto as a currency instead of a commodity. If the proposal passes, crypto exchanges can offer traditional financial services in Brazil.
All proposals were reportedly made by Irajá Silvestre Filho - a member of the Senate from the Social Democratic Party. It's unclear how many members of Congress support the proposals, but they appear to have massive support from the Brazilian crypto community.
All proposals were reportedly made by Irajá Silvestre Filho - a member of the Senate from the Social Democratic Party. While it is unclear how many members of Congress do support the proposals, they appear to have massive support from the Brazilian crypto community.