Brazil names its controversial CBDC ‘DREX’

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Brazil’s Central Bank revealed the official name of the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), also known as the digital real, DREX.
The name was revealed during a live broadcast on the bank’s YouTube channel, hosted by Fábio Araújo, coordinator of the digital real, and Aristides Cavalcante, deputy head of the Central Bank’s technology and information department.
Araújo explained that DREX combines elements representing digital, real (Brazil’s currency), electronic, and transaction. It complements the Pix platform, a successful system in Brazil that offers free, instant electronic fund transfers using QR codes and simplified IDs like phone numbers.
The branding for DREX includes two arrows leaning into the ‘D,’ symbolizing the evolution of currency from physical to digital, and a color transition from blue to light green, signifying ‘transaction completed.’

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DREX will be based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). It will support operations like buying and selling public treasury bonds, using web3 infrastructure for burning, creating, and registering tokens.
Only authorized entities can mint the CBDC, and citizens will use a tokenized version handled by authorized financial institutions.
Brazil aims to reduce costs and democratize access to financial services with DREX. Officials from the central bank are optimistic that it will enhance lending, investments, and insurance services, aligning with Brazil’s push for greater financial inclusion.

“We aim to make these financial products accessible to the public and increase financial inclusion in Brazil.”
Fábio Araújo, coordinator of the digital real
In early July, the Central Bank published the digital real pilot project on GitHub, allowing public inspection of the system code. Developers found problematic functions within the smart contract, including the ability to freeze users’ accounts, alter balances, and mint new digital currency units.
Despite concerns over these capabilities, some devs argue they might be useful in specific situations. One such instance is that digital currency could improve the tracking of taxes, enabling greater public oversight of government spending and enhancing transparency in legislative amendments.

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