Banks v Cryptocurrency exchanges: CADE's investigation and the search for a villain

N.D. Figueiredo*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This issue’s Contemporary Critique casts a light on the Brazilian competition authority (CADE)’s foray into the booming cryptocurrency industry. More specifically, it focuses on the agency’s ongoing probe into allegations that several banks breached Brazilian antitrust law by denying services to a number of cryptocurrency trading firms. The case is somewhat remarkable. For one, it is set against a particularly dynamic backdrop of rapid development and regulatory uncertainty. For another, CADE had initially decided to dismiss the case in late 2019, following a year-long investigation, only to revive it six months later.
In her Critique, Natália de Lima Figueiredo is sceptical of the merits of antitrust enforcement in this case. In her view, CADE’s initial rejection decision was wellgrounded. By suddenly reversing course, she argues, the agency is now venturing into murky, regulatory, waters with flimsy reasons and unsuitable tools for doing so.
Paulo Furquim de Azevedo, by contrast, criticizes CADE’s original stance and fears that the authority will again apply outdated ‘rules of thumb’ to this case. In so doing, he argues, CADE would be betraying the very value it is meant to protect: competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Antitrust Enforcement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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