Capital markets News

Brazil’s largest private bank Itaú launches cryptocurrency trading


Today Brazil’s Itaú started offering cryptocurrency trading services to selected customers through its ion investment platform. It’s been a year since the bank commenced digital asset custody services. Initially it is only offering Bitcoin and Ether with plans to expand the range. 

According to Valor Econômico, Itaú’s Head of digital assets Guto Antunes said the rollout is to select customers but didn’t provide the criteria. “This gradualness depends on regulatory clarity. We did not go into detail about the selection processes as it is a strategic issue,” he said. Brazil is in the process of finalizing detailed rules. Antunes confirmed the launch on Linkedin.

While early investors can buy and sell, they cannot transfer cryptocurrency in or out of the wallet. The bank will provide the custody service.

Other Brazilian financial institutions such as Nubank and BTG Pactual also offer crypto services. In fact, BTG Pactual has its own stablecoin. Meanwhile, another Brazilian institution, XP, recently discontinued its crypto trading platform.

Meanwhile, Itaú Unibanco is one of 14 teams participating in the DREX pilots for a digital real central bank digital currency (CBDC). Last year the bank issued its first tokenized digital asset for trade finance receivables.

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