Category Archives: Brazil cryptocurrency news

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Brazilian Crypto Expert Rejects Tulip Bubble Comparison

Brazilian Crypto Expert Rejects Tulip Bubble Comparison

Brazilian Bitcoin pioneer Samuel Maurer has claimed that Bitcoin cannot be compared to the Tulip bubble. Maurer regards this debate as an “outdated matter”, believing that even if the most seasoned economists want to draw analogies, there is no similarity between the Bitcoin and a tulip bubble.

Usually, in mainstream media and economic expert’s circles, Bitcoin is compared to the bubble described by the Tulip mania of the 1600s. A Tulip bubble is a term of economics that is used to describe an economic bubble. Those who are skeptical of the high volatility in the price of Bitcoin have been known to use this term to describe the digital asset

In an article he authored to present the justification of his claims, Maurer explains that upon analyzing the cost/price ratio in assets, one can see the differences between the two.

He added that a certain cost is associated with the Bitcoin creation, electric energy, equipment and the difficulties associated with mining. The high cost of Bitcoin attracts the miners, as it leads huge to profits. However, as the price goes high, the cost of mining also increases. Hence, the cost would always be tied to its price. Sometimes, the price might be lower than the cost of production, pushing miners not to sell until the price goes higher.

He maintained that the low price of Bitcoin in 2018 and then a brief recovery in 2019 proves the health and liquidity of the market. Therefore, it is incorrect to compare it with the Tulip bubble.

Maurer concluded that crypto-coins are completely different in nature and technology from any other commodity. Hence, due to their novelty, they should not be compared with any other commodity or investment, suggesting they instead be treated as an upmarket.

Maurer is a renowned analyst at the Bitcoin Banco Group based in Brazil. He is considered among the first in Latin America to support cryptocurrency-related businesses and invested a lot in it.

 

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Brazilian Crypto Holders Seek Physical Vaults for Storing Their Digital Assets

Brazilian Crypto Holders Seek Physical Vaults for Storing Their Digital Assets

For some Brazilian whales and cryptocurrency investors, the best defense against crypto theft is not just a secure password, but an actual vault.

To secure their digital assets, Brazilian residents have turned towards private companies that offer secure vaults for storage of their assets. Once a dead industry, the rising theft of cryptocurrencies has forced holders to shift their assets to cold storages and place them inside the safes.

Several companies are offering their services for vulnerable cryptocurrency investors in the country. Some of the features seem to come from a Mission Impossible movie. The vaults are kept secure through seven armored and reinforced steel doors. The doors themselves can only be accessed through a combination of biometrics of authorized persons only. There are palm scanners that read up to an immense 5 million individual points on the hand and then inspects the blood flow through infrared waves.

Packages may range from less than $50 to hundreds of dollars per month depending on the type of service. The packages seem to have a pretty steep price, but crypto thieves are becoming more daring in order to get their hands on cryptocurrencies. On 29 December last year, the owner of KriptoBR’s home was raided by dacoits who took away 150 units of Ledger Nano S and 35 Trezor Model T. KriptoBR is the official vendor of the hardware wallets in Brazil.

While normally stealing cryptos require knowledge of computer systems in order to hack, the thieves are now turning towards traditional methods of extorting money. This includes kidnapping and torturing known cryptocurrency holders until they give in and hand over their private keys.

Early last December, a group had called upon a known Bitcoin investor to visit and give a lecture on cryptocurrencies. That was a ruse and they drugged and beat him nearly to death in order to steal his Bitcoin.

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Brazil Crypto Exchange Associations Send Proposals to Revenue Office

Brazil’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Associations ABCripto (Brazilian Association of Cryptoeconomics) and Brazilians Association for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (ABCB) have forwarded proposals to the Federal Revenue Service of Brazil (RFB) for public consultation.

The move comes after the RFB enacted several new moves to account for monthly cryptocurrency transactions by exchanges and demanded control of these assets to avoid tax evasion in these platforms.

The purpose behind Brazil’s top regulator’s latest moves is to allow cross information of income tax of individuals and businesses operating in the cryptocurrency sector. RFB wants to have a concerted insight into the whole process and calculate the capital gains of the investors and traders through their buy and sell orders.

According to the Yurie Lira, the exchange association’s focal person, “The entire community has been struggling to understand the demand for Revenue and to position itself in a unified way. We seek to consolidate a single drafting model of the normative act to be presented to RFB.”

One of the most contentious decisions both ABCB and ABCripto are looking to overturn include Article 5 of the new rules that suggest all transactions more than BRL 10,000 (USD 2,620)be reported to the RFB. The exchange associations are looking to have it raised to BRL 35,000 which is in line with the article 170 and 179 of the Brazilian constitution.

According to the proposals: “In addition to the quest for equal treatment of the cryptocurrency sector we also took care to provide clarification regarding the condition of the cryptocurrency market…”

Other changes desired by the exchange unions can be read in detail in the new proposal. The proposals may be necessary to save the Bitcoin market in the country according to a joint statement by these two associations.

 

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Mitsubishi UFJ Signs MoU with Brazil Bank for Ripple-Based International Payments

Japanese banking corporation Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) Inc has announced that it has struck a partnership with Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco for a new Ripple-based cross-border payments system.

According to an official press release from the Japanese bank, the new partnership will be based in Brazil itself with the local subsidiary of the bank Banco MUFJ Brasil involved in the partnership with Banco Bradesco.

MUFJ has recently invested a lot in cryptocurrency and blockchain-based systems, including being a party to a blockchain-based syndicated loan organized by Spanish bank BBVA. Now MUFJ has reiterated its confidence in the Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency after joining its payments steering group back in March 2017.

According to the press release: “The new payment system… will assist the banks as they work toward commercializing a high-speed, transparent and traceable cross-border payments solution between Japan and Brazil.”

While Ripple has been criticized for its centralized approach and other issues, it is gaining traction for the last few months and has seen the price of XRP shoot up significantly from early year’s lows. Various other banks are also in talks with Ripple for adopting its token in cross-border payments systems but nothing concrete has yet been achieved.

Brazil, on the other hand, is seeing increased activity in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector as the new president Jair Bolsanaro has announced support for the sector. While the financial regulators are running a tight ship when it comes to making regulations, so far, overreach has been largely avoided.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 2nd to 8th November 2018

South America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Brazil

Pharma company launches digital innovation challenge: Pfizer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has announced a new entrepreneurship competition. The Pfizer Challenge aims to stimulate innovation in two categories: medical innovation and tech innovation.

Participants can register themselves for the challenge on the official Pfizer Brazil website and the event itself will take place on 4 December 2018. Blockchain startups are looking towards the tech category.

Since Pfizer is interested in the developments of blockchain technology, developers and has already announced two partnerships in DLT including one with Aimeds, an AI company and another with Genentech that uses Quorum based on Ethereum to keep fake medicines out of medical supply chains.

Tax regulator publishes draft on crypto taxation: Federal financial regulator Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB) has published a draft on cryptocurrency taxation in the country.

In the draft paper, available on the RFB website, the monetary authority has declared that it is the duty of the cryptocurrency exchanges to send detailed reports of all cryptocurrency operations on a monthly basis to the regulator. They will even have to reveal the amount and number of transactions as well as identity of customers themselves.

All legal entities investing in cryptocurrencies in foreign exchanges are also obliged to report all transactions per month. For those who fail to report their trade, there will be a fine of up to BRL 1,500 (USD 400). The RFB could charge 3% of transactions as a fine too.

The hard-hitting measure by the regulator is not yet approved by the government but cryptocurrency advocates including the Brazilian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (ABCB) may oppose these measures.

Sao Paulo restaurant to accept Bitcoin: A Sao Paulo restaurant named Casa de Porco Bar has announced that it will be accepting Bitcoin payments in a partnership with CoinWISE cryptocurrency payments platform.

According to the restaurant chef Jefferson Rueda, “Our idea is to make cryptocurrencies commonplace just like any other form of payment and thereby increase their global currency position.”

The service is easy to use and will bring many benefits to cryptocurrency holders in the city.

Ronaldinho announces new crypto in partnership with Usain Bolt: Two of the biggest names in sports Usain Bolt and Ronaldinho Gaucho have joined hands to launch a cryptocurrency asset in the market called the Champion Coin.

Other prominent personalities added to the project include Didier Drogba, Akshay Kumar and David Trezeguet. The project is based around global hygiene company Champion Shave. The aim is to tokenize the expansion of the company and record the sale of the first 100% recycled shaver on DLT.

Venezuela

Government authorizes first payment with Petro: The Venezuelan government is moving forward with the use of the controversial cryptocurrency Petro and has ordered the first sentence payment using the state-owned token.

Venezuela’s top court ordered that moral damages in a work-related case be paid in Petro or equivalent to the victim who was injured by an Agriculture Ministry Institute employee.

 

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Brazilian Banks Reopen Crypto Exchange Accounts to Avoid Fines

Two major Brazilian banks have complied with court orders and resumed banking services of a local cryptocurrency exchange that had its accounts closed. The initial decision by the banks to deny bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges was challenged in the court and a preliminary decision was awarded in the favor of the exchange.

Banco do Brasil and Santander Brasil were ordered to reopen the accounts of cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Max by the Federal District Court. The court termed the unilateral action of banks as abusive conduct that violates customer protection laws and then ordered the banks to re-open the accounts within five days or face up to a BRL 20,000 fine (USD 5,400).

According to the exchange’s lawyer Leonardo Ranna, the banks quickly reopened the accounts after the decision. Banco do Brasil had also frozen BRL 120,000 of the exchange as well and the court ordered the two banks to make them available in 24 hours.

While the exchange may celebrate this decision, it is only a preliminary outcome and the legal process will continue in the court. Banks across Latin America have been blocking the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges but courts have intervened and ordered the banks to reopen in many cases.

Cryptocurrency regulations and oversight are being planned in the country and the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) recently sent a mandatory questionnaire to all operation cryptocurrency exchanges to fill. The questionnaire had basic questions about the operations of these exchanges and the CADE will reportedly study these revelations to come up with appropriate regulations for the market.

 

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Brazilian Presidential Candidate Fernando Haddad Releases Future Plan on Blockchain

Brazil’s presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has announced that he has released his future plans for the government on blockchain. The move comes after his rival candidate Jair Bolsanaro announced his own plans for the blockchain industry a week ago. The two candidates are going to face each other in the final round of Brazilian presidential elections later this year.

Haddad, belonging to the Workers’ Party has promised that blockchain record-keeping was the only way the campaign found to disassociate the candidate from the kind of false news being spread about Haddad’s proposals. Therefore, the campaign found a partnership with Brazilian company OriginalMy earlier this week and thus their request was subsequently registered on Decred’s blockchain.

The move comes after fears that fake news attacks against politicians in the country were reaching the next levels as a recent survey by BTG Pactual pointed out. The survey reported that 47% of Brazilians used WhatsApp for political information and around 87% received fake news through it. The survey covered almost 2,000 random people in the country.

Haddad believes that his far-right rival Jair Bolsanaro is using fake news to his advantage and getting an unfair advantage. Thus, he became the first candidate in history to register his future plans and statements on the immutable blockchain technology.

Fake news is now being combatted around the world with the help of blockchain technology because of the latter’s incorruptible nature. Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly popular in Brazil as many leaders have come forward with their plans for blockchain adoption in the country. Former candidates Marina Silva and Joao Amoeda also announced their plans for the use of blockchain to register donations and creation of a digital government respectively before the first round of elections.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 11th October 2018

South America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Brazil

Iranian authority declares Brazil country most prone to Coinhive cyber attacks: The Iranian Cybersecurity Authority (CERTCC) has declared that Brazil is the top country among reported attacks involving the CoinHive software.

According to the agency, more than 81,000 attacks were reported by Coinhive in 2017 alone. India came in second with 29,000 followed by Indonesia and Iran itself. This data is not yet endorsed by any other organization.

Coinhive itself is a mining software for Monero cryptocurrency. It has an API that allows you to allocated CPU and other computing resources to mine Monero’s XMR cryptocurrency.

Hackers usually break into a computer to try and install the software in it, remotely mining XMR without the owner’s knowledge. It also comes up bundled with other software packs in some cases.

Blockchain institutions expanding operations: Brazilian blockchain academy and other blockchain institutions are expanding their learning operations across the country and are now increasingly partnering with universities.

Recently, the academy partnered with leading blockchain initiatives like Consensys and expanded to Portugal. In addition, University of Sao Paulo is establishing a postgraduate course in Law and Information Technology which addresses Bitcoin and the decentralized economy. Other institutions like Faculdade Getúlio Vargas (FGV) have signed partnerships with Ripple to expand academic and institutional knowledge of blockchain technology.

New federal deputy of Sao Paulo is pro-crypto: Newly-elected Federal Deputy of State of Sao Paulo Eduardo Bolsonaro has declared that he is in favor of cryptocurrencies and even recorded a video on the subject.

Son of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro Jr is expected to bring a positive change in his state regarding cryptocurrencies and may also be able to influence his father on this matter if he is elected president. The move comes after an increasing number of Brazilian MPs and other members of government have come forward and declared themselves pro-cryptocurrency advocates.

Argentina

Crypto ATMs increasing to help people combat inflation: Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular in Argentina as a means to combat rampant currency devaluation and inflation in the country. Keeping this in mind, two Bitcoin ATM companies, Athena Bitcoin and Odyssey Group, have decided to unveil more than 30 new ATMs in the country as early as the end of 2019.

Cryptocurrencies are set to become more and more popular with countries around the world where inflation is becoming a persistent problem. Argentina has been suffering from inflationary problems a while now as the peso needs constant monetary injections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stay afloat. Currency devaluations present a golden opportunity for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to excel as they don’t have inherent inflationary measures.

Chile

New project tabled in Parliament for blockchain adoption: The Chilean lower house of parliament has been presented with a new project regarding blockchain adoption in the country, according to local media outlet Fortin Mapocho.

The resolution was created back in August but wasn’t presented in front of parliament until 5 October. The bill aims to implement blockchain technology in different public offices across the country. The project is currently being endorsed by two MPs Miguel Angel Calisto and Giorgio Jackson. They claim to have the support of eight other MPs as well.

 

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Brazil Crypto Exchanges Must Answer Watchdog Demands or Face Fine

Brazilian economic watchdog Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has announced that it has sent ten cryptocurrency exchanges and an OTC trading a detailed questionnaire to fill and they have until 19 October to answer it or face a fine up to USD 25,000.

While the announcement of the questionnaire was made earlier, according to Portal do Bitcoin it was actually delivered to the exchanges on 1 October. The move follows detailed investigation requested by local blockchain and cryptocurrency association Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) into the crypto-related projects. The call by ABCB was made to ensure the transparency of the matter.

While the issue seems one-sided and biased towards cryptocurrencies, it is apparently not so as CADE has also probed banks that are trying to damage the operations of these cryptocurrency exchange by restricting their accounts. The investigator even said the banks were “imposing, restricting or even prohibiting… access to the financial system for cryptocurrency brokerages”.

But for a better understanding of their operations, exchanges are now being asked to fill a mandatory questionnaire regarding their operations and submit it within time. The form was sent to all of the top cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country including Waltime, Brazilex, BitcoinTrade, Mercado Bitcoin and Foxbit.

According to the CADE notes:

“In accordance with art. 40 of the Law 12,529 / 2011, the refusal, omission or unjustified delay of the requested information or documents constitutes an offense punishable by a daily fine of BRL 5,000.00 (five thousand reais) [about USD 1,270], and may be increased by up to twenty (20) times, if necessary to ensure its effectiveness, because of the economic situation of the offender.”

The questionnaire asks several questions to the cryptocurrency exchanges including descriptions of their operations in Brazil, whether banks have been shutting down their accounts, whether they have suffered losses because of accounts being shut down, the measures they have taken for security and transparency including Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and whether  they have refused to serve clients before. Finally, the questionnaire ends by saying their answers will be kept confidential.

The questionnaires are expected to help the government regulate the industry better.

 

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Brazilian Blockchain Academy Announces Ethereum-Based Courses in Portugal

Blockchain Academy, a Brazilian blockchain platform that offers courses on different blockchain subjects, is offering two Ethereum-based courses for the first time in Portugal. The institute is already popular in its home country of Brazil, where it is offering a number of educational and training courses to professionals who are interested in the blockchain industry. This offering marks the first entry of Blockchain Academy into Portugal. 

The Ethereum for Business and Ethereum for Developers courses start in November and are designed for entrepreneurs, executives, software developers and professionals who are interested in blockchain. They cover essentials such as understanding of blockchain technology, development of tokens, smart contracts decentralized applications (Dapps) and other aspects of the Ethereum blockchain.

The courses will be imparted through blockchain specialist, Solange Gueiros, who was the first woman in Brazil to publish a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. She has more than two decades of experience in working with different projects and databases. With degrees in Computer Science and Pedagogy from Sao Paulo University and focus on financial, business and career coaching, she appears to be the perfect person to teach the courses.

The courses, although the first to be offered in Portugal, are not the first venture by Blockchain Academy at an international level. Apart from being guests at Labitconf (co-founder Rasine Kadamani was invited in 2016 and 2017), the institute has already conducted successful courses in Argentina, Colombia (offering courses for Bancolombia and University of Sergio Arboleda) and courses for the Financial Intelligence Unit in Mauritius.

Founded by Rasine Kadamani and Thiago Padovan, Blockchain Academy has already established itself as a leading blockchain and crypto educational institute in Brazil. The institute offers different courses for professionals and executives wanting to venture into the blockchain industry. Courses such as Smart Contract Development and Ethereum Master Class Edition are offered with the collaboration of Consensys, a blockchain promotion platform founded by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin.

The courses in Portugal will be offered via distance learning through a partnership with Mosaica University.

 

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