Brazil is setting the pace when it comes to the adoption of crypto. In fact, the Latin American nation is one of the top 10 fastest adopters of crypto in the world. And this year, crypto-enabled payments solutions were introduced to the country via Ripple’s partnership with Travelex Bank, the first bank in LATAM to utilize Ripple’s cross-border payments solution for faster, more affordable remittances and international payments.
In light of these developments and in celebration of Hispanic and U.S. Latin American Heritage Month, the Amigues and Black at Ripple Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) hosted an intersectional conversation with esteemed Brazilian blockchain researchers to discuss factors driving crypto interest and adoption across Brazil, and how the nation’s dynamic culture and wide-ranging identities influence everything from technology to politics, and beyond.
What’s Driving High Crypto Adoption Rates?
Brazil is making huge strides in Web3 and crypto adoption. And despite the country’s somewhat turbulent economic history, Brazilians are taking control of their own financial future.
“Web3 is seen as a way to hack a new space in technology,” says Nina Da Hora, head of responsible tech at Thoughtworks. “It allows an opportunity for Latin American countries, and Brazil, to play a leading role in new technologies.”
Brazil is often referred to as a cultural melting pot. This has influenced just about every aspect of Brazilian life, and the quick adoption of crypto is no exception. “Diversity requires something that unifies, for example, a public ledger,” says Victor Silva, Ph.D. student in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. According to Silva, Brazilians are also “excited about new things,” especially when it comes to playing a leading role in new technologies.
Room to Grow in Brazil
Despite the increased popularity of crypto in recent years throughout Brazil, there’s still a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding it.
André Benedetti, XRPL Grants recipient and CEO at Cryptum—an API for integrating the XRP Ledger with a variety of applications—said at first, crypto was depicted as a bubble to get quick money, which was hurtful to the country’s adoption, stunting understanding of the greater potential of blockchain technology. And while the attention did at least get the word out to Brazilians about crypto in general, the awareness still doesn’t compensate for the misinformation.
Benedetti explains that discussions around this technology within Brazil are primarily focused on cryptocurrencies, leaving out other aspects of crypto such as DeFi and tokenization. “It’s an area we can improve upon to share more knowledge.”
“When you talk to a portion of the population there’s a lack of financial literacy,” adds Silva. “Brazil could be growing in terms of Web3 adoption even faster, if not for this lack of understanding.”
Identity and Diversity in Web3
As Web3 continues to evolve, it’s imperative for people with diverse backgrounds from around the world to have a hand in its future.
Da Hora, a Black computer scientist from Rio, applies her life experience and perspective to inform her own path to advancing tech in Brazil. Beginning her studies in African philosophy, she made a shift in 2018 to focus her efforts on mitigating bias in algorithms, which—if left unchecked—can perpetuate harmful historical inequities.
This is one of many examples of why decentralization matters: it makes way for a diverse set of voices and levels the playing field for anyone wanting to get involved in Web3. Further, prioritizing diversity in Web3 presents an opportunity to deliver on promises of a more equitable vision for the future of the internet.
Empowering Web3 Expansion and Diversity
Through initiatives such as Ripple Impact and the Amgiues at Ripple ERG, Ripple is committed to empowering the expansion of—and diversity in—Web3 and the broader crypto industry across Brazil and throughout the greater LatAm region. One example is our recent partnership with Cidadão Pró-Mundo, a leading Brazilian nonprofit improving educational access to young citizens and adults in low-income communities. As a sponsor of Cidadão Pró-Mundo’s Connect program, Ripple is helping provide internet access and tablets for students without access to technology.
By educating on ways to build a more efficient, dynamic and transparent financial system through the power of crypto, together we can discover new use cases and continue to drive adoption of crypto and Web3 around the globe.
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