Brazil Regulators Move to Block Bitcoin Mining Investments
Brazil's Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) has moved to suspend the offer of securities related to a local bitcoin mining operation.
In a February 28 statement, the securities regulator declared that the offering for HashBrasil being pitched to investors was not authorized, identifying how the solicitations were playing out across social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
"The [Authority] has identified that the company and the individual mentioned above are publicly offering...an investment opportunity related to quotas in [a] bitcoin mining investment group ('HashBrasil'), using appeal to the public for the conclusion of contracts that may be included in the legal concept of security," the agency wrote, according to a rough translation of the statement.
The agency also threatened to fine the operators of Hash Brasil R$5,000 per day - worth roughly $1,500 - if they failed to comply with the suspension.
Signs indicate that the warning has all but scuttled the projected. In a post on Facebook from March 1 - the day after the CVM's initial statement - the team behind Hash Brasil indicated that they had temporarily ceased their activities in light of the posting.
"We will be informing the measures that will be taken by us to defend and preserve the interests of our customers, always in a regular and legal way," the statement read.
Regulators in Brasil have struck a largely dismissive tone on cryptocurrencies in the past, including critical comments from the country's central bank. Last October, for example, central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn said that he believes bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.
Editor's Note: Some of the statements in this report have been translated from Spanish.
Brazilian flag image via Shutterstock