Brazil's Central Bank Adopts IMF Guidelines, Recognizes Cryptocurrencies as Assets

The Central Bank of Brazil has, through a note published on Monday (August 26), officially recognized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as assets, and noted Brazil has been importing bitcoin, a move that has been “reducing the trade surplus” in its balance sheet.

According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, the country’s central bank adopted guidelines from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to classify cryptocurrencies, and will now be including cryptocurrency statistics when looking into the country’s exports and imports. The financial institution’s note reads:

The Balance of Payments Statistics Committee, an advisory body on methodology for external sector statistics to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Statistics Department, has recommended classifying the buying and selling of cryptoasset (specifically those for which there is no issuer) as non-financial assets produced, which implies their compilation in the balance of payments´ asset account.

It also adds that cryptocurrency mining is now set to be seen as a “productive process,” also following IMF recommendations from a document titled “Treatment of Crypto Assets in Macroeconomic Statistics.”

Commenting on the development Rosine Kadamani, co-founder of Blockchain Academy, pointed out that while the move “seems to be a simple acknowledge of the status quo” it actually shows there’s risk involved in “losing the analysis’ sophistication. She added cryptocurrencies need a “different type of attention, such as official recognition as a payment method, [in a move] similar to that of Japan in 2017.”

The Brazilian cryptocurrency news outlet points out the president of the country’s central bank, Roberto Campos Neto, has weighed in on cryptocurrencies in the past. Campos, in July of this year, claimed the emergence of new technologies and markets “helps central banks improve.” He added:

What I think is important central banks have to take the lead, have to take the initiative to create a more modern and more digital process.

If they don’t, Campos concluded, other “faster, more digital solutions will come.”