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Brazilian City soon Accepts Bitcoin Payments for Public Transport

On July 25 it was reported that users of the public transportation system in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará, will soon be able to purchase transportation tickets using bitcoin.

The news was broken by Brazil-based media outlet ‘Jornal do Povo’, who cited the Ceará Co-operative of Autonomous Passenger Transporters (COOTRAPS).

Fortaleza Public Transportation System Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Support for BTC payments will be implemented into the city’s autonomous ticketing app before the end of 2019, allowing travelers to pay with BTC by scanning a QR code, which is then scanned by devices located on vehicles. In addition to BTC, transportation tickets can be purchased using debit cards, credit cards, or frequent flyer programs.

COOTRAPS also indicated that the city is deliberating whether to accept payments in the form of other cryptocurrencies in the future, however, it did not specify which alternative cryptocurrencies are under consideration

The initiative is intended to attract more users and to reduce costs, with COOTRAPS chief financial officer, Carlos.Robério stating:

This is a way of reducing bureaucracy, even bringing more users to transport. We expect a larger flow of people, we will make it easier for the user.

Brazilian Interest in Bitcoin Gains Momentum

Bitcoin has increasingly pervaded news headlines in Brazil during recent days, with Paulo Skaf, the president of Brazilian trade association the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP), predicting that the country’s new tax regime will drive citizens toward using virtual currencies to evade taxation.

Speaking to local newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Skaf stated that the new tax regime will “naturally lead to a migration to other forms of payment, such as cryptocurrencies. It’s going to be unfair: those who trade in cryptocurrency don’t pay, and those who trade in reals will pay.”

On July 19, Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a descendant of Brazil’s former royal family and a federal deputy in the Brazilian National Congress, spoke out against cryptocurrency regulations during a congressional commission.

“Good regulation is one that comes from the consumer’s demand for something for which he felt injured and calls for state protection,” he stated, adding: “I question this adventure of wanting to regulate something which consumers and companies organized to receive Bitcoin do not demand.”

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Written by Ravi Gupat

Ravi grew up in India and graduated in Economics. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited several companies in tech and media over the past 15 years. He is also an early stage investor and advisor in various blockchain-based companies.

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