President Shuts Down Brazil’s Indigenous Cryptocurrency Project Days After Taking Office

Jair M. Bolsonaro has taken to his Twitter account recently to let the public know that his government is no longer going forward with the project that was slated to launch the country’s very own cryptocurrency. For a while, plans to launch an “indigenous cryptocurrency” was on the cards but as per latest updates, those plans have come to a complete standstill.

The tweet, which was not written or posted in English was roughly translated by a crypto journalist called Francisco Memoria retweeting the President’s announcement. It reads:

“Various contracts have been dismantled and will be exposed, such as the RS$44 million to create indigenous cryptocurrency that was barred by Minister Damares and others.”

If continued with, this project would have represented an effort worth about 12 million dollars designed to bring in a new economic alternative for Brazilian citizens.

Why was the project terminated? It seems that the new right winger President’s issue lay with the fact that there were inconsistencies in the contracts that had been signed by the National Bank for Economic and Social Development, which is one of Brazil’s premier institutions geared towards funding development. The said body is associated with the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, and Trade.

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The primary problem seemed to lay in the fact that the contract was not finalized on the basis of a bidding round, which is usually, and traditionally, the case.

Instead, the National Indian Foundation or FUNAI and the Fluminense Federal University (UFF) signed a direct contract.

As per reports published by local media outlets, it seems that a Brazilian Minister suspended the contracts and the project on 2nd January, 2019 on these grounds. The minister concerned was Damares Alves, holding the portfolio of Human Rights, Family and Women.

The contract had initially been signed at the end of last December, on the 28th. Exactly 3 days after that the mandate of the recently concluded former Presidency ended.

As Bolsonaro took office in place of Michael Temer, his administration cracked down on the inconsistent set of contracts signed for the crypto project.

Funai’s President Wallace Bastos claimed that the delay in finalizing the contracts was a result of administrative logjams in approval and that the contracts had been assigned through a “Decentralized Execution Term” rather than a traditional bidding process.

Interestingly, some local news outlets claim that many Funai employees are admitting off the record that parties were hired without adequate technical analysis.

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