Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Reveals He Doesn't Know What Bitcoin Is

Francisco Memoria

Jair M. Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has recently revealed in an interview with a well-known TV show host that he doesn’t know what bitcoin is, while speaking about his administration’s decision to shut down an ‘indigenous cryptocurrency’ project.

According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, the TV show host has been participating in various cryptocurrency-related events recently, and was speaking to the country’s president about a cryptocurrency-related project barred by Brazil’s Minister of Human Rights, Family, and women, Damares Alves.

Bolsonaro, with a disapproving tone, stated:

She [Damares] discovered at the end of the transition last year that they were earmarking Funai for RS $40 million, and do you know why Ratinho? To teach indigenous people how to mess with bitcoin.

The “indigenous cryptocurrency” project Bolsonaro refers to was signed three days before the mandate of Michel Temer, Brazil’s former president, ended. It would see the country spend roughly $12 million to bring in an “alternative currency” for its indigenous communities, in a move that purportedly could “transform the reality of these people.”

As CryptoGlobe covered, however, the project saw the government sign a contract directly with the National Indian Foundation (Funai) and with the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), instead of seeing organizations compete for it through a traditional bidding process.

At the time, officials claimed the UFF was chosen because of its “expertise” in similar projects. It’s worth noting, however, that Funai employees claimed the work that was set to be done was of “questionable technical relevance.”

Reacting to Bolsonaro’s disapproving tone, Ratinho asked the Brazilian president if he knew what bitcoin was. Bolsonaro replied he didn’t know but with help from the host managed to get a little more out:

It's that virtual coin. I do not know how to operate that 'train' yet.

As Portal do Bitcoin reports, Bolsonaro’s son Carlos Bolsonaro appears to not yet properly understand cryptocurrencies. On the microblogging platform Twitter, he claimed the halted cryptocurrency project blocked “millions in bitcoin,” when in reality it blocked millions in fiat currency.

Featured image via Jair Bolsonaro's YouTube channel.