The city of Rio de Janeiro has announced it’s planning to allow its citizens to pay taxes using cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Binance is opening an office in the city and Coinbase is reportedly buying Brazilian crypto exchange 2TM.

The Rio initiative will make it the first city in Brazil to enable crypto-tax payments. And, according to a press statement, in order to action the plan, Rio will be utilising third-party companies to process the payments and convert them to fiat money.

This means the city, which has a population of almost seven million, will receive the Brazilian real, while enabling people to use crypto to pay the “IPTU” taxes, which specifically relate to urban real estate.

“Our effort here is to make it clear that in the city of Rio we have official initiatives that recognise this market,” said Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, adding:

“Now those who invest in cryptocurrency and live in the city of Rio will be able to spend this asset here paying official tax in the city of Rio. And we’re going to move forward quickly.”

Rio de Jainero bitcoin crypto
Above: Rio residents with poorly Photoshopped “Bitcoin”, yesterday (Getty Images). Main: Peter Allen “goes to Rio”.

The taxation scheme is just one part of a plan for wider Bitcoin adoption by Rio de Janeiro, which includes holding the leading digital asset as a store of value with an initial 1% allocation of the city’s treasury dedicated to BTC.

In January, Paes also revealed that the city had created a working group to discuss crypto-related policies and also aims to launch its own cryptocurrency, called “Crypto Rio”.

And Rio will now also reportedly be creating a new institution, the Municipal Committee for Crypto Investments, that will strategise how to best further inject city funds into the city’s crypto economy.

The new pro-crypto tax laws will be implemented from 2023, according to the press statement, which was made by the Secretary of Economic Development, Innovation and Simplification, Chicão Bulhões.

Oh, and here’s something else – throwing his support behind the initiative, the CEO of global crypto-exchange giant Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, has just announced a new office planned for the city…


Coinbase set to buy Brazilian crypto unicorn 2TM

Binance isn’t the only exchange titan making moves into Brazil. Coinbase is reportedly buying the Brazilian US$2.2 billion company 2TM. The latter owns, among several other crypto and fintech enterprises, Mercado Bitcoin – the country’s biggest crypto exchange.

According to US crypto-media outlet Cointelegraph, and Brazilian newspaper Estadão, Coinbase’s acquisition has been in the works for a few months and could be finalised as soon as April.

Brazil is becoming increasingly crypto friendly. According to figures published by triple-A, more than 10 million Brazilians own cryptocurrencies (4.88% of the population), putting it 12th on the list of global crypto adoption.

Ukraine (12.73%), incidentally is number one on that list, and Australia (3.36%) is 19th. (Grain of salt – Finder’s ongoing Cryptocurrency Adoption Index survey tends to show a higher level of crypto uptake from Australians.)