Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro doesn’t seem to know what bitcoin is.
What Is Bitcoin, Exactly?
In a recent interview centered around cryptocurrency, the topic of bitcoin (naturally) came up. President of Brazil Bolsonaro took the stage, and when asked about the subject of bitcoin, he responded with the words:
I don’t know. Is it a coin?
Bolsonaro has sought to remove all the previous cryptocurrency projects being established in Brazil from his predecessor, who was very big on digital assets and sought to create a new digital currency that indigenous people in the country could potentially use. The project would have allegedly cost Brazil nearly $12 million. That’s a lot of money for a country that’s struggling financially…
At the same time, shutting down cryptocurrency projects may not be the best idea for Brazil, and for Bolsonaro to not understand bitcoin or know what it is can be considered somewhat “inexcusable” at this point. To be fair, Bolsonaro’s conservative ideals may be exactly what Brazil needs right now given its poverty status and the damage done to its natural resources over the past several years. A stricter presidency might do the country some good, but to get rid of crypto altogether could have disastrous consequences.
For one thing, Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world. For it not to have access to crypto would easily put it behind in terms of financial and technological advancement. Several businesses and countries have worked hard to implement blockchain technology and instill crypto exchanges and applications for citizens to use. Ridding cryptocurrencies and bitcoin from the table will likely remove Brazil’s competitive edge in terms of monetary business and even supply chains operations.
Right now, Brazil happens to be one of the most blockchain-prominent countries in Latin America. Bolsonaro’s words and agenda implies that this could potentially change in the coming years. There is risk that it could fall from one of the top spots in blockchain to one of the lowest.
The President has commented that the cancellation of said projects was predominantly to save money. He scoffs at the idea of an indigenous coin, stating:
We are cutting expenses. We were about to use 40 million Reales to teach natives to use bitcoin.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro and Warren Buffett May Have Something in Common
It is possible that Bolsonaro’s words don’t imply he doesn’t know anything about bitcoin, but rather that he sarcastically doesn’t consider bitcoin to be a valid investment tool or even money. If that’s the case, Bolsonoaro shares the same ideology as American billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who has never been particularly friendly towards bitcoin.
In recent news, Buffett is slated to have a three-hour lunch with TRON founder Justin Sun, who is going to work hard at convincing him of the value of crypto.