The Central bank of Brazil — or Banco Central do Brazil — is laying the groundwork for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) with an official statement revealing it has already formed a dedicated group to study the crypto industry.
According to the central bank, the team consists of 12 members in an intergovernmental group that will assess how the CBDC could fit with the national payments ecosystem and what its impact could be on the economy and the society.
Previous reports detailed that Brazil spends around 90 billion reals ($16 billion) annually to guarantee a functional supply of paper money in circulation, representing between 1% and 2% of its GDP.
The central bank says that the new group will examine how much money will be saved by issuing CBDCs and if it will be beneficial overall for the national economy.
Rafael Sarres de Almeida, an official from the Information Technology Department of the Brazilian central bank, said in the statement:
“The subject of digital currencies addressed by central banks has been on the research agenda of many central banks for some time. However, this year, there was a greater focus on a more practical approach.”
He added that China had already entered the final testing phase of its digital currency and many other monetary authorities had announced new projects.
In May, Ripple (XRP) had a closed-door meeting with the central bank of Brazil to discuss “institutional matters”. According to the bank, its president Roberto Campos Neto had a video conference with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and three other representatives of the crypto firm, but no details have been provided on which specific topics were discussed.