Brazilian lawmakers are working to tighten rules around crypto-related crime and agree to a batch of new fines for money laundering in cryptocurrency.
A special committee of Brazil’s House of Representatives has approved a bill that would toughen penalties for financial crimes involving the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), according to an official announcement on September 29.
The latest regulatory changes are part of Bill 2303/15 and increase the fine from one-third of the amount of money laundering to two-thirds. The bill also proposes raising the minimum prison sentence from three to four years and increasing the maximum prison sentence from 10 to 16 years and eight months in addition to fines.
The bill is said to be the subject of further discussion in a plenary session of the Council.
Federal Representative Aureo Ribeiro stressed that the new bill will help the state protect Brazilians from crypto fraud schemes, noting that more than 300,000 people have been affected by “crypto pyramid schemes” in Rio de Janeiro.
“In the absence of regulation, people have nowhere to turn. The market in Brazil will move and adapt. There will be no more speculators using technology to defraud millions of Brazilians,” Ribeiro said.
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Ribeiro was bullish about other aspects of the bill that govern broader cryptocurrency transactions such as trading, custody, cash exchange and payments. According to a report from Cointelegraph Brazil, Ribeiro said that Bitcoin will be accepted as payment in Brazil after the bill is passed.
Recently, there have been some signs of accelerating the development and adoption of cryptocurrency in Brazil. In August, the governor of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, asked the state to accept the cryptocurrency market by reforming domestic legislation. In June, the Brazilian exchange began trading in another Bitcoin ETF following previous listings of several other crypto ETFs earlier this year.