Thiago Cesar is the 34-year-old co-founder of Transfero, a company helping to make crypto more accessible for Brazilians with BRZ, the first stablecoin pegged to the Brazilian real.
Cesar grew up in southern Brazil’s Pindamonhangaba municipality before making the 90-mile trek to Sao Paulo for college. He graduated from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, and it wasn’t long, Cesar says, before he became infatuated with Bitcoin as a graduate student at the University of London.
“By 2014, I’d been convinced that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, were going to be a big thing,” Cesar says, leading him to author his graduate thesis on the “competitive and comparative advantages that Bitcoin could bring to a business.”
In 2015, Transfero was born.
Crypto became a hit in subsequent years: A 2022 Chainalysis report gave Brazil the top rank of any country in South America on its annual crypto index — and No. 7 globally. Crypto’s surging popularity is one reason why Rio de Janeiro announced in October it would begin accepting crypto for tax payments, with Transfero facilitating settlements.
What inspired you to start Transfero?
Transfero was a joint dream between me and my four Brazilian co-founders. We met in Rio de Janeiro just after I returned from the University of London in 2015, where coincidentally, I wrote my master’s thesis about Bitcoin.
Cointelegraph’s Rudy Takala, Transfero’s Thiago Cesar and Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman. (Thiago Cesar)
One of my co-founders Marlyson Silva had previous experience in the payments industry and developed a payment gateway that could also process Bitcoin transactions. The system immediately converted Bitcoin into reais, so merchants didn’t have to worry about price fluctuations.
Being a crypto-native group, our idea was to leverage everything that a borderless and permissionless asset class could provide. Brazil and other neighboring countries were always financially limited in some way: be it…