Bolsonaro supported the Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves in the termination of a project worth 44.9 million Brazilian reals ($11.5 million) between the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), which promoted the creation of a cryptocurrency for indigenous people to use. Bolsonaro delivered his comments during an interview with Ratinho’s SBT show on June 4.
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that he does not know what bitcoin (BTC) is, and endorsed the suspension of a project that would create a crypto for indigenous people to use, Cointelegraph Brazil reported on June 4.
After saying that the Minister acted properly in blocking the project that “wanted to teach the Indian to use bitcoin,” the president was asked by a show participant if he knew what bitcoin was. Bolsonaro replied:
“I do not know what bitcoin is.”
Shortly after the speech, Bolsonaro rectified his statement and said that bitcoin was a “virtual currency.” The project offered by FUNAI and the UFF will purportedly neither receive financing and support, nor integrate bitcoin.
Over his career, Bolsonaro has made several controversial statements regarding indigenous people in Brazil, and promised to roll back protections on their lands.
As previously reported, the government suspended the indigenous crypto project in early January claiming that the contract was issued improperly and lacked technical analysis, such as a detailed description of the project. The contract was signed directly between FUNAI and UFF, instead of through a legal bidding process. Moreover, the government said that the contract had been approved too quickly and entailed considerable expenditure.
In late May, the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil, Deputy Rodrigo Maia ordered the establishment of a commission to consider cryptocurrency regulation in the country. The commission will be composed of 34 members in accordance with the House Rules of Procedure.