Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of Latin America’s most relevant crypto and economic news during the last week. In this issue: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva pushes to issue a BRICS common currency, Binance drops card services, and Argentina gets invited to be part of BRICS.

Brazil’s Lula Pushes for BRICS Common Currency

Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, president of Brazil, referred to the advantages of issuing a common currency in the BRICS bloc, integrated by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. As part of his participation at the recent BRICS leaders summit, Lula stated:

The creation of a currency for trade and investment transactions between BRICS members increases our payment options and reduces our vulnerabilities.

Opposing Lula’s vision, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that “no one” was thinking about a single currency and that the group was focused on finding a way of making their economic investments and transactions independent from the U.S.-controlled financial system.

While the project of a common currency could not be concreted during this summit, the importance of “encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions” was mentioned in the final declaration of the BRICS summit.

Binance Drops Cards Services

Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, announced it would no longer be able to offer its card-related products in Latam and the Middle East starting on September 21. While the company did not give more details, reports indicate that Mastercard dropped its partnership with Binance in these jurisdictions, leaving it without a credit partner to back these services.

Binance stated that only a “tiny portion of our users (less than 1% of users in the markets mentioned)” were impacted by this decision and directed users to settle transactions with crypto-native payment systems, like Binance Pay, when available.

Argentina Invited to Be Part of BRICS

Leaders of the BRICS bloc announced the expansion of the roster of countries that integrate the organization, with Argentina being one of them. The troubled country, currently facing record levels of devaluation and inflation, was invited to be part of an expanded BRICS organization starting January 1, 2024.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez welcomed the invitation, stating that “a new scenario” opened up for the nation. On the role of BRICS in the new upcoming economic world, Fernandez detailed:

[They] play a determining role in the requirement to design a global financial architecture that takes into account the needs of growth, trade, investment, and social welfare.

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