Will crypto become one of the main means of payment?

2021 was a big year for cryptocurrency. But what’s next? We will talk in a new article about the actions of regulators and congressmen, which can be considered prerequisites for cryptocurrency to become a means of payment on a par with the US dollar.

Will Bitcoin become Brazil’s official currency?

Brazilian congressman Aureo Ribeiro shared that a bill to recognize BTC as legal tender in Brazil is ready. The government fully supported this initiative. Congress has the last word.

The politician also believes that the country will be a reference point for new foreign investments. Brazilians are increasingly using BTC for personal purposes. However, the ability to buy, sell and invest in the crypto sector legally is lacking. A recent Sherlock Communications poll showed that 48 percent of Brazilians want Bitcoin as legal tender.

“Brazilians have been the biggest supporters of Bitcoin acceptance in the region, with 56% supporting El Salvador’s approach and 48% saying they want Brazil to adopt it too,” the study noted.

When asked about the prospects for cryptocurrency in Brazil, 31% of respondents pointed to strong progress. 35% of people responded that Brazil is still lagging behind other countries. 23% of respondents said there will be many more Bitcoin users in the future. Only 4% of respondents believe Brazil has no future.

When asked about the sustainability of the market, Congressman Aureo Ribeiro assured that it is innovative and stable. He argued that crypto works worldwide with ballast and is not going anywhere. The congressman also stated that the valuation of bitcoins surpasses any return on assets on the stock exchange, and works similarly to investing in dollars and gold.

Visa’s protocol for CBDC and Stablecoin interaction

Visa presented a description of the “Universal Payment Channel” (UPC). It will be a link between blockchains to transfer and exchange digital assets between them. The technology is a server that acts as a gateway to receive requests and send payments between registered users on the network. This conceptual protocol will simplify digital currency transactions between different parties, regardless of the type of blockchain, asset or standard used.

Visa cites the solution as one element of a long-term strategy that will unite the diversity of networks into a single financial whole. CBDC and stabelcoins will play an important role in people’s lives in the future. They need trusted trust channels to work together effectively.

Visa’s UPC concept also includes the first-ever sample smart contract implemented in the Ethereum Ropsten test network. It is a payment channel that accepts ETH and USDC. Next, the company will explore other blockchains, gradually linking them together. Over time, smart contracts will begin not only to move assets between networks but also to secure transactions, increase throughput and speed up transactions.

New BIS Report Outlines How Stablecoins Can Meet International Monetary Standards

Financial regulators around the world are taking a growing interest in the regulation of stablecoins. The U.S. is creating federal-level systems for stablecoin issuers. China’s central bank is concerned that private stablecoins could hurt financial systems. Last month, the head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, said that stablcoins are not a currency, but assets, requiring appropriate regulation.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) also recently published a report in cooperation with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). It includes preliminary guidance on the application of the Financial Market Infrastructure Principles (PFMI) to StableCoin agreements.

The guidance does not create additional standards for stablecoin agreements, which the European Central Bank considers to be payment systems “because they permit the transfer of value between stablecoin holders.” The document also considers risk assessment. For example, when the arrangements for stablecoins relate to the assessment of stablecoin risk, it should be noted whether stablecoin provides its holders with a direct legal claim on the issuer, as well as ownership of the underlying reserve or an interest in it.

The BIS is rather probing the field. Why is that? Well, it’s because the press statement points to the ability for each jurisdiction to independently allow (or prohibit) stablecoin activity in its region.

The report offers guidance on these types of stablecoin agreements according to four key principles:

  • control,
  • risk management,
  • settlement finality (assurance that the transaction has been completed without risk of cancellation),
  • monetary settlement.

Thus, the Bank for International Settlements, like other financial regulators, seeks to make StableCoin payment systems compliant with international payment, clearing, and settlement standards.

Conclusion

The crypto-asset industry is still evolving. Payment with crypto for goods and services is still meaningless for most people, Active acceptance and implementation of cryptocurrency as a means of payment in different countries does not help it yet. However, the situation may change in the future due to an increase in the number of retailers willing to accept cryptocurrency payments.

It is difficult to predict where the cryptocurrency market and blockchain technology will grow in the long term. It will probably be much longer before a reasonable financial decision is made to use bitcoin for goods or services. However, further institutional adoption has the potential to lead to more use cases for ordinary users and, in turn, affect cryptocurrency prices.

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