OKex embraces Brazil’s official fast payments system PIX

OKEx exchange announced a strategic partnership with the payments firm CuboPay, allowing it to facilitate Tether (USDT) purchases in exchange for Brazilian real via PIX.

OKex embraces Brazil’s official fast payments system PIX

The news follows similar moves from rival exchanges, including Crypto.com peer-to-peer platform Localbitcoins

CuboPay’s integrations came forward as the Central Bank of Brazil published preliminary guidelines for a central bank digital currency on May 25. The guidelines were compiled by a working group established to explore a CBDC in August 2020. The BCB has previously indicated it hopes to have developed its CBDC by 2022.

The announcement emphasizes that the CBDC will operate “as an extension of the physical currency,” and is intended to improve the retail payment system, foster new business models, and bolster Brazil’s participation in regional and global trade through increasing efficiency of cross-border transactions.

The research into CBDC was authorized by Brazil’s central bank in order to modernize the country’s payments sector, including the launch of PIX in November 2020. 

The president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, previously emphasized the role of PIX in supporting its CBDC ambitions through providing “an instant payment system that is efficient and interoperable,” the BCB’s response to PIX being adopted by off-shore cryptocurrency exchanges remains to be seen.

To note, the Central Bank of Brazil suspended WhatsApp Pay to investigate risks posed to the competitive environment of its payments sector, with the suspension coming just months after the central bank revealed PIX as a response to the growing popularity of crypto assets. With WhatsApp Pay having only resumed Brazilian operations earlier this month, a crackdown on the use of PIX to access crypto assets may still be a possibility.