Brazilian City Starts Accepting Bitcoin Payments for Public Transport

Samuel Haig

On July 25 it was reported that users of the public transportation system in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará, will soon be able to purchase transportation tickets using bitcoin.

The news was broken by Brazil-based media outlet ‘Jornal do Povo’, who cited the Ceará Co-operative of Autonomous Passenger Transporters (COOTRAPS).

Fortaleza Public Transportation System Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Support for BTC payments will be implemented into the city’s autonomous ticketing app before the end of 2019, allowing travelers to pay with BTC by scanning a QR code, which is then scanned by devices located on vehicles. In addition to BTC, transportation tickets can be purchased using debit cards, credit cards, or frequent flyer programs.

COOTRAPS also indicated that the city is deliberating whether to accept payments in the form of other cryptocurrencies in the future, however, it did not specify which alternative cryptocurrencies are under consideration

The initiative is intended to attract more users and to reduce costs, with COOTRAPS chief financial officer, Carlos.Robério stating:

This is a way of reducing bureaucracy, even bringing more users to transport. We expect a larger flow of people, we will make it easier for the user.

Brazilian Interest in Bitcoin Gains Momentum

Bitcoin has increasingly pervaded news headlines in Brazil during recent days, with Paulo Skaf, the president of Brazilian trade association the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP), predicting that the country’s new tax regime will drive citizens toward using virtual currencies to evade taxation.

Speaking to local newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Skaf stated that the new tax regime will “naturally lead to a migration to other forms of payment, such as cryptocurrencies. It's going to be unfair: those who trade in cryptocurrency don't pay, and those who trade in reals will pay.”

On July 19, Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a descendant of Brazil’s former royal family and a federal deputy in the Brazilian National Congress, spoke out against cryptocurrency regulations during a congressional commission.

"Good regulation is one that comes from the consumer's demand for something for which he felt injured and calls for state protection,” he stated, adding: “I question this adventure of wanting to regulate something which consumers and companies organized to receive Bitcoin do not demand.”

Bittrex International Closes Service for More than 30 Countries

  • Bittrex International is closing its service for clients in more than 30 countries, including Venezuela.
  • Users have until Oct. 29 to withdraw their funds from the exchange. 

Cryptoasset exchange Bittrex International will no longer be offering services to clients in more than 30 countries, including Venezuela and Egypt. 

According to the press release, the exchange informed customers residing in the now excluded countries that they would no longer be able to use the services of Bittrex International. 

Users will have until Oct. 29 to remove their funds from the exchange, 

On October 18, Bittrex International informed customers who reside in certain countries (see full list below) that they can no longer use the Bittrex International platform due to regulatory uncertainty. All trading and account access for these impacted customers will be halted on Tuesday, October 29 date at 19:00 UTC/21:00 CEST.

Bittrex International, which is based out of Malta, published a guide for withdrawing funds from the exchange, including a warning that customers must have 3 times the withdrawal fee amount in order to do so. 

Among the countries listed was Venezuela, which caught community members by surprise given the country’s growing adoption for crypto. 

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