Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has officially opened two offices in Brazil, seeking to extend its reach in the South American country where a spate of companies has added digital asset trading services in recent months.
Binance opened two offices Monday in Brazil’s finance hub of São Paulo, as well its second-largest city of Rio de Janeiro. The exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) announced the plan to open the offices in March, according to a Binance statement. The exchange now has a Brazil-based team comprised of more than 150 people.
Brazil’s currency, the real, and broader markets spiked on Monday following news of a presidential runoff vote, following a close race on Sunday between incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro and leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has been strategically eyeing Brazil for months. Company executives reportedly have met with government officials, and the exchange signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March to acquire locally-regulated securities brokerage Sim;paul Investimentos. The status of that transaction is unclear.
Separately, the company recently added former Brazilian finance minister Henrique Meirelles to its global advisory board.
Brazil is still awaiting broad cryptocurrency regulation as a long-awaited bill sits in the country’s lower chamber. However, a wave of high-profile payment apps and digital banks have added digital asset trading services within the past year, including Nubank, Mercado Libre and BTG Pactual. The country ranked seventh on Chainalysis’ latest Global Crypto Adoption Index.
Acquiring a locally-regulated entity like Sim;paul would be a strategic move for Binance to grow its offerings Brazil. The company has faced some regulatory scrutiny there, having to suspend futures trading on its Brazilian site in August 2021 after the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) said in July 2020 that it was not registered to operate in the Brazilian securities market.
Binance underscored that it “operates in full compliance with the Brazilian regulatory landscape” and supports regulation.
Binance has been opening offices around the world in local markets, also announcing Monday that it will expand its Kazakhstan location as it works to build a regional hub. Binance also revealed a new office in New Zealand on Sept. 29, and has also registered with regulators in countries including France, Italy and Spain.
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