The Senate plenary can analyze this Tuesday (19) a bill that establishes a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The purpose of the proposal is to try to give more security to operations carried out with this type of currency and to curb financial scams, with punishment for people who organize fraudulent schemes through cryptoassets.
Cryptocurrencies are virtual assets, protected by cryptography, present in digital records, whose operations are performed and stored on a computer network. These assets allow payments or electronic transfers to be made without the need for the intermediation of a financial institution.
To date, however, there is no specific regulation for the operation of cryptocurrencies in Brazil. The government, for example, has no control over which companies that offer services related to operations carried out with virtual currencies can operate in the country.
This favors the occurrence of a series of scams involving cryptocurrencies. Last month, for example, the Record TV showed that a brokerage firm in São Paulo was accused of scamming clients worth R$680 million. The company offered far above market yields and operated in a Ponzi scheme. More than 3,500 families were harmed.
Another similar case was registered in early April, in Rio de Janeiro. The Civil Police of the state opened an investigation against the owner of a company that had already injured 500 people and caused a loss of R$ 13 million, also in the financial pyramid model. One of the victims even sold the house to invest in virtual currencies.
The matter that will be voted on by the senators establishes that the Executive Branch will have to closely monitor operations related to the cryptocurrency market. The project requires the federal government to define one or more bodies to regulate and inspect business with virtual currencies.
The Executive will also be responsible for authorizing the operation of brokerage firms and selecting which assets should be subject to regulation. In addition, the government will need to create regulations to prevent money laundering and concealment of assets, as well as to combat the activities of criminal organizations, the financing of terrorism and the production and trade of weapons of mass destruction.
White collar crimes and money laundering
The bill provides for punishments against illicit practices involving cryptocurrencies. If any virtual currency broker acts irregularly, it and its owners will be subject to all the penalties provided for in the white-collar crime law.
In addition, the bodies chosen by the Executive to supervise the brokers may cancel the companies’ operating license if they do not comply or do not comply with the rules defined by the regulatory framework.
Another point provided for in the bill is that brokerage firms will be subject to the rules of the money laundering law. They will be required, for example, to record all transactions that exceed the limits set by Coaf (Council for the Control of Financial Activities).
Also according to the article, companies that operate crypto-assets must be considered financial institutions subject to all the rules of the financial crimes law and also to the Consumer Protection Code.
The proposal amends the financial crimes law to define the provision of virtual asset services without prior authorization as a crime, the penalty of which will be imprisonment from one to four years, in addition to a fine. Finally, the project inserts fraud in the provision of virtual asset services into the Penal Code. The penalty is imprisonment from four to eight years.