Rio de Janeiro will be the first Brazilian city to allow its residents to pay taxes with crypto.
Brazil’s second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, announced plans to accept cryptocurrency payments for property taxes in 2023. A report in Bloomberg Linea cited a notice from the City Hall saying the city would contract multiple companies to handle the conversion of cryptocurrencies to Brazilian reals.
Commenting on the initiative, Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao stated on Twitter that his company had made a “handshake deal” towards initiating formal acceptance of Bitcoin in the city some time ago, a move that has now been formalized. Binance would now set up an office in the city in the future.
Stimulate tourism and incentivize local artists with the help of NFTs
Making the official announcement, a notice from the office of the Rio de Janeiro mayor added that the city also had plans to develop its collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that will feature images of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous tourist spots. According to Pedro Paulo, the city’s secretary of finance and planning, the goal is to stimulate tourism and incentivize local artists with the help of NFTs. Eduardo Paes, an official from the mayor’s office, said:
“To enable the operation, the municipality will hire companies specialized in converting crypto assets into reals (the Brazilian currency). In this way, the City Hall will receive 100% of the amount in the currency […] we will stimulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies by integrating them into the payment of taxes, as in the case of IPTU (the real estate tax in the city) and, in the future, this can be expanded to services such as taxi races, for example.”
Brazilian secretary Pedro Paulo further acknowledged that the city’s goal, besides the acceptance of cryptocurrencies, was to develop a solid market of this new asset class in the city, adding:
“We will stimulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies by integrating them into the payment of taxes, as in the case of IPTU and, in the future, this can be expanded to services such as taxi races, for example.”
Countries can reap unprecedented benefits from embracing crypto
Brazil is taking serious steps towards cryptocurrency adoption, and the decision by Binance to open shop in Rio de Janeiro took shape after Paes gave Zhao a key to the city. There has been growing crypto interest in the area following El Salvador’s decision to make Bitcoin legal tender in September 2021. The Latin American region was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and there’s now fear of a looming debt crisis.
The authorities in Panama, Paraguay, Argentina, and Mexico are now more open to Bitcoin and are currently seeking a more significant role for the flagship cryptocurrency in their economies. These countries can reap unprecedented benefits from embracing crypto. For instance, in El Salvador, the tourism industry has enjoyed a 30% growth since the country formally adopted BTC as legal tender.
Tom is a freelance writer with over 10-years’ experience in content creation, blog writing, and SEO specializing in the blockchain and cryptocurrency niche. As a philosophical figurehead, he believes that to make our world a better place, we must invest in incorruptible products and procedures, of which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are leading examples.