Itaú Unibanco Advances Digital Asset Services with AWS Blockchain Technology

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    Itaú Unibanco powers digital asset services with AWS blockchain technology
    February 27, 2024
    February 27, 2024

    kelly cromley

    Itaú Unibanco is responding to the growing demand for digital asset services by introducing a sophisticated blockchain-based transaction data security model. Leading Latin American bank leverages Amazon Managed Blockchain Access, Amazon Manage Blockchain Query, and AWS Nitro Enclaves to revolutionize private networks at scale and improve security in the dynamic landscape of digital assets. That's what I'm aiming for.

    Cryptocurrency momentum in Latin America:

    The surge in cryptocurrency adoption across Latin America, and in Brazil in particular, is being driven by a convergence of consumer and business trends and a supportive regulatory environment. Brazil has emerged at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption as mobile technology, government initiatives, and consumer behavior evolve to drive a significant shift toward digital payments.

    Synergy between Pix and cryptocurrencies:

    The instant payment system Pix, introduced by the Brazilian Central Bank in 2020, played a pivotal role in accelerating digital payments. More than 150 million Brazilians use his Pix, making the real-time payment system essential for instant money transfers, bill payments, and purchases. The seamless transition to digital payment methods has led to the adoption of cryptocurrencies by an estimated 16 million individuals and her 12,000 businesses in Brazil.

    Regulatory framework and CBDC initiative:

    Regulators in the region are proactively establishing clear guidelines to foster the growth of the crypto industry. Brazil's securities regulator, CVM, enacted Regulation No. 175 in 2022, allowing regulated investment funds to allocate up to 10% of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies. The Legal Framework for Virtual Assets, or Cryptoassets Law, promulgated in December 2022, prepares virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in Brazil.

    Brazil's upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC), called DREX, scheduled to launch in 2024, will further promote blockchain technology and digital assets in core financial operations. Brazil's central bank has invited major financial institutions, including Itau Unibanco, to participate in a pilot program to test DREX and consider advanced applications such as asset tokenization.

    Itaú Unibanco’s approach to cryptocurrencies:

    On December 4, 2023, Itaú Unibanco, one of the largest banks in Latin America, launched Bitcoin and Ether storage services, in addition to crypto trading through the Aeon app, for certain customers . The move follows the founding of Itaú Digital Assets in 2022, driven by consumer demand for cryptocurrency services from trusted brands.

    Custody service architecture and challenges overcome:

    Itaú's custodial service incorporates five layers that address security, compliance, governance, audit, and services. Overcoming challenges in managing blockchain infrastructure, implementing robust data encryption, and ensuring key protection were key steps. AWS Nitro Enclaves have emerged as a pivotal technology, providing a highly secure environment for cryptographic key management and transaction signing within Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances.

    AWS blockchain technology integration:

    Amazon Manage Blockchain (AMB) greatly streamlines blockchain management and provides essential infrastructure support for major networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. AMB Access facilitates a fully managed gateway to blockchain nodes, simplifying connections and interactions with various blockchain networks. AMB queries increase the efficiency of processing blockchain data by providing indexed data for complex queries, reducing complexity and time.

    Serverless architecture for flexibility:

    Integrating Nitro Enclaves with managed blockchain as a first-party service on AWS enables seamless integration with other services while maintaining robust security. The serverless architecture allows Itaú to focus on innovation without managing server infrastructure, resulting in a more agile and responsive development cycle.

    CIO perspective:

    Caio Cesar Lopes Gomes, CIO of Itaú Digital Assets, highlights the strategic importance of the partnership with AWS and the accelerated time to market. This collaboration will ensure scalability, security and reliability, allowing Itau to deliver innovative products to the rapidly evolving crypto market.

    In conclusion, the collaboration between Itaú Unibanco and AWS represents a pioneering approach to digital asset services and reflects the bank's commitment to meeting the evolving needs of consumers and businesses in a thriving cryptocurrency environment.


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