Brazilian Bank Expands Bitcoin And Ether Trading For All Customers


Brazil’s largest private bank, Itaú Unibanco, has announced the expansion of its Bitcoin and Ether trading services to all customers. This move marks a significant step in making cryptocurrency trading more accessible to a broader audience in Latin America.

Itaú Unibanco, serving over 60 million customers, began offering cryptocurrency trading through its investment platform ‘Ion’ in December 2023. Initially, this service was exclusive to selected clients, but it has gradually become available to all users who download the platform’s app.

Guto Antunes, head of Itaú Digital Assets, confirmed this development during a recent interview with a local publication. He shared that the bank has been conducting weekly surveys with clients who were permitted to engage in cryptocurrency operations. The results of these surveys indicated a high degree of acceptance and trust among customers regarding Itaú’s crypto services.

A key factor contributing to this trust is Itaú’s approach to crypto custody. Instead of relying on third-party services, the bank developed its own internal tool to ensure the safety of customers’ crypto wallets. This solution was developed with the support of tokenizer Liqi, demonstrating Itaú’s commitment to maintaining high security standards.

In compliance with Brazil’s Central Bank regulations, Itaú created a separate digital wallet for each client. This step ensures asset segregation, a crucial requirement for legal compliance in the crypto market. Brazil’s central bank has been gradually rolling out crypto regulations, with further proposals expected by the end of the year.

The ‘Ion’ app has already seen over 3.5 million downloads on both Android and iOS platforms. Antunes noted that this number is impressive, especially given the phased rollout of the service. The high download rate reflects the growing interest and demand for cryptocurrency trading in Brazil.

Currently, Itaú supports Bitcoin and Ether trading, but there are plans to expand to other cryptocurrencies as customer demand increases. The expansion will also depend on the outcome of regulatory risk assessments, ensuring that all new offerings comply with existing and forthcoming regulations.

Looking ahead, Itaú is also anticipating new guidelines from Brazil’s Central Bank regarding stablecoin operations. These rules are expected to provide greater clarity and structure to the stablecoin market in Brazil, potentially opening up new opportunities for both Itaú and its customers.

By expanding its cryptocurrency services, Itaú Unibanco is positioning itself at the forefront of digital finance in Latin America. This move not only enhances its service offerings but also aligns with the growing trend of cryptocurrency adoption globally. As regulations evolve and customer demand continues to rise, Itaú is well-placed to lead the way in providing secure and accessible cryptocurrency trading options to its vast customer base.