Brazilian lawmakers are working to tighten regulations on cryptocurrency-related crimes and approve a number of new penalties for crypto money laundering.
According to an official announcement on September 29, Brazil’s special committee of the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill that significantly tightened the penalties for financial crimes using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).
The latest regulatory changes are part of Bill 2303/15, which increases the size of fines from one third of money laundering to two thirds. The bill also provides for increasing the minimum prison sentence from three to four years and the maximum sentence from 10 years to 16 years and eight months, in addition to a fine.
According to the announcement, the draft law is to be discussed in the plenary session of the chamber.
Federal MP Aureo Ribeiro stressed that the new bill will help the state protect Brazilians from crypto fraud, noting that more than 300,000 people in Rio de Janeiro are affected by “financial pyramid schemes with cryptocurrency”.
“In the absence of regulation, people have nowhere to turn. In Brazil, the market will continue to develop and adapt. There will be no more profiteers using technology to deceive millions of Brazilians, ”said Ribeiro.
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Ribeiro was optimistic about other aspects of the bill, which will regulate broader cryptocurrency operations such as trading, custody, fiat exchanges and payments. According to a report by Cointelegraph Brazil, Ribeiro said Bitcoin will be accepted as a form of payment in Brazil once the bill goes into effect.
Brazil has seen some signs of increased development and adoption of cryptocurrencies lately. In August, the head of the Brazilian central bank, Roberto Campos Neto, called on the state to support the crypto market by redesigning local regulations. In June, the Brazilian exchange started trading another exchange-traded Bitcoin fund after listing several other crypto ETFs earlier this year.