A member of the former royal family of Brazil, before the country became an independent republic state, Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, has shown a strong stance against anti-crypto regulations in the country. The prince made these comments during a committee hearing for crypto regulations video clips of which are being circulated on the internet.
Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a descendant of the Orleans Braganza dynasty, is currently the federal deputy in the Brazilian National Congress. The house of Orleans-Braganza ruled Brazil during the 1860s and 70s before the country became a republic in 1889.
Orleans Braganza spoke out about crypto regulations during a commission meeting which discussed the future legal framework for digital currencies in Brazil. He stressed that the Congress needs to discuss the bill only if there is demand for discussion by the public, and if the public shows no interest in regulations, the Congress has no right to intervene in something that it is not its business. He said:
Good regulation is one that comes from the consumer’s demand for something for which he felt injured and calls for state protection. I question this adventure of wanting to regulate something which consumers and companies organized to receive Bitcoin do not demand.
Orleans Braganza did admit that cryptocurrency is being used by many people all around the world to do illegal activities. However, this does not create the ground for the government to take away people’s freedom and impose limitless restrictions on these digital assets.
The Committee for Cryptocurrency Regulations
The committee was created on the directions of Rodrigo Mara, President of the Chamber of Deputies. Mara ordered the formation of the committee on 31st May to get opinions on regulating bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Brazil.
The commission, titled the Commission for Cryptocurrency Regulations, was to meet this July. It is composed of 34 members of the parliament, according to the rules and procedure of the Brazilian Parliament. During the committee proceedings, several other projects related to cryptocurrencies were also presented by the office of the federal deputies.
Brazil has had a rocky relationship with cryptocurrency. In 2017, during the bitcoin boom, the Brazilian central bank, Banco Central do Brasil (BCB), issued a series of notices warning its citizens not to invest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to its extreme volatility.
The BCB also warned the people that the bank does not guarantee the conversion of these digital tokens to the Brazilian sovereign currency. The law makes a distinction between electronic money and digital tokens. While electronic money, according to the law 12,385, is permissible, the legality of cryptocurrency has not taken the form of a law till now.
At the moment, bitcoin is not regulated by the country but the tax authorities have imposed gains tax on all cryptocurrencies. Earlier this month, the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service (IRS) passed a new rule that binds all crypto investors to report transactions above the threshold of R$ 30,000 on a monthly basis to IRS.