Cryptocurrencies, metavers and consumer law

Cryptocurrencies, metavers and consumer law

On April 26, the Federal Senate passed Bill no. 4,401/2021[1]which provides guidelines for the provision of virtual asset services[2] (crypto assets) and in the regulation of entrepreneurs in this new market that does not yet have special legislation.

In the European Union, a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cryptographic asset markets was presented in Brussels, but the final text has not yet been approved.[3].

The two legislative proposals converge in the sense of requiring the crypto asset service provider to obtain authorization from the competent public authority to operate in the internal market, with the imposition of compliance with certain procedural and organizational requirements. This requirement is sensible and prudent, so that the principle of transparency can be complied with, which allows the person responsible for providing services to be assertively identified and to supervise their activities for greater consumer protection. In fact, this is another point of convergence, both[4] emphasize the importance of consumer protection[5].

In fact, we are facing a new consumer legal relationship, which is subject to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Code (CDC). Historically, with the advent of e-commerce[6]in 2000, it was discussed whether or not to apply the CDC, in particular the rule contained in Article 49, as it contains “mostly over the phone or at home “but quickly outdated as the general rule of the device says”sprovided that the procurement of the supply of products and services takes place outside the commercial establishment ”which covers any legal relationship of consumption in an electronic environment.

It is true that with the entry into force of special legislation on the provision of[7] of the crypto assets, there will necessarily be a dialogue[8] with the Consumer Protection Code[9].

In a short time, there have been transformations in legal relations, taken advantage of by technological developments and the determination of large economic entrepreneurs. The media issue around the metavers[10]led, most recently, by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, who in 2021 changed the name of his company to Meta Platforms Inc., popularly Meta, in view of his obsession with building everything in this environment called digital.

A simple internet search finds some titles:

(i) The largest NFT sale in history gives BRL 1.5 billion per land to the metavers;
(ii) Bitcoin remains at $ 38,000, but the metavers cryptocurrency is rising again

Legal relationships in this digital environment are already a reality and are growing exponentially, even by young people who do not have the legal civil capacity to do so. Consumer law is one, among other branches of law, that must be respected, mainly for the duty of information about its particularities, allowing a conscious decision of the weakest party, as well as the protection of personal data. The latter, no doubt, was greatly strengthened by the enactment of Law no. 13,709/18 (LGPD).

The pioneering initiative of the law classes in the field of metavers was disseminated by Professor Renato Porto[11]which created the digital platform and offered students who paid for the Consumer Law course the opportunity to attend classes with this new technology.

It is time to support and follow up on legislative proposals on this new and current legal relationship, both in the Brazilian and European parliaments, with the presentation of suggestions for improving the legislative text and calling for speedy processing. , in order to guarantee, as soon as possible. as possible,, the regulation of this new digital market.

[8] See, among other legal texts by Professor Cláudia Lima Marques, Dialogue between the Consumer Protection Code and the new Civil Code: on the “dialogue of sources” in the fight against abusive clauses. Journal of Consumer Law. flight. 45. year. 11. São Paulo: Ed., RT, January / March, 2003.


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