Ripple is opening a new office in Brazil, bringing the country closer to becoming a major blockchain and cryptocurrency haven.
Brazil And Ripple: The Perfect Combo?
To be fair, Brazil has long stood as one of the biggest cryptocurrency hubs in South America. However, new reports regarding its president’s lagging knowledge of bitcoin and other digital assets have caused some to hold Brazil’s power in the blockchain arena in doubt.
Recently, President Jair Bolsonaro asked if bitcoin was “even a coin.” This could be literal ignorance or a snarky reaction towards the currency. It’s possible that Bolsonaro doesn’t believe bitcoin is a worthwhile investment or even money. Thus, his words may be implying not that he knows nothing of it, but that the cryptocurrency isn’t worth much in his mind.
It also seems like he’s trying to dismantle his predecessor’s previous cryptocurrency goals with the sudden and recent end of a digital currency project that would have seen a new virtual asset developed for use by Brazil’s indigenous people. However, with the recent addition of a Ripple office in Brazil, it’s likely that Bolsonaro is simply trying to concentrate on more mainstream crypto efforts.
Ripple is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, though for a short period, it did hold the number two spot above Ethereum. In addition to opening its new Brazil headquarters, Ripple is also bringing Luiz Antonio Sacco – a fintech entrepreneur and executive – onboard as its new managing director. It will be Sacco’s job to “drive strategy” and “build the Ripple ecosystem in the region.”
Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of global operations, comments:
In January, Ripple surpassed 200 customers on Ripple Net. The company is experiencing rapid customer growth across all markets and is launching in Brazil in response to high customer demand in South America. We are fortunate to have Luiz on board to expand our presence in the region and help our customers address the challenges of cross-border payments.
Sacco also had a few things to say about his upcoming work with the crypto platform, stating:
We’re excited to grow our ecosystem in the region and bring additional financial institutions onto Ripple Net to help provide excellent, efficient cross-border payment experiences for their customers. Brazil is a leader in fintech innovation and positions to forge a path for the rest of Latin America to follow.
Education Is Always the Answer
At press time, Ripple is working with several Brazilian universities and higher-learning institutions to establish stronger blockchain education and coursework for students so that they can be prepared for a blockchain-infused future. Sacco claims:
We believe that academic institutions will play a key role driving the blockchain industry forward. USP and FGV are innovative, forward-thinking institutions that are investing in blockchain research to explore new use cases and help prepare students for future jobs in this space.