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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 24th to 30th March, 2019

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Brazil

Central Bank of Brazil Looks for Blockchain System Upgrades With an Innovation Program: The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) has announced the launch of the second edition of the Laboratory of Financial and Technological Innovations (LIFT). The project looks to accelerate the development of technological innovation in the country’s financial system. Local authorities will select proposals for the innovations with the help of BCB and will collaborate with technology partner companies to create prototypes and solutions for the financial industry. The projects will also address some priority actions for the “BC+” Agenda, which aims at increasing banking efficiency, lowering credit, modernizing the financial system, and enhancing financial inclusion.

CoinBene Brasil Clarifies That It Was Not Hacked: Amidst the circulating rumours, CoinBene unit in Brazil clarified that there was no hacker attack on the platform on 26 March. The suspicions arose after the exchange suspended their operations without any prior notice. However, the company clarified that it was nothing more than a failure of communication with the users. Initially, the company’s Twitter handle announced that it was going through a maintenance period and said,

“In order to improve our users’ experience, CoinBene is updating its wallet platform on the 26th of March. During maintenance, portfolio-related operations will be affected, as will deposits and withdrawals. Trading will not be affected.”

But some members of the exchange claim that the ‘maintenance’ was initiated as a preemptive precaution to avoid any potential threats considering the recent attacks on three exchanges in Singapore.

Banco do Brasil Is Required to Keep Foxbit Accounts: Foxbit has finally won a milestone decision against Bradesco, Banco Inter, and Banco do Brasil, which are now required by law to keep Foxbit’s bank accounts open. It was reported that CAIXA closed the Foxbit account without following all steps recommended by the Central Bank, and the Brazilian court found this enough reason to rule in favour of Foxbit. Previously, Banco do Brasil closed Foxbit’s account citing unlawful company activities as the reason, and the lawsuit has been running since 2017. But this watershed moment will encourage more activity in the Brazilian financial markets, as it marks the first favourable decision for any Brazilian crypto company.

Educational Entities Launch the First Blockchain Course for Business in Brazil: The leading blockchain education institutions in Brazil, Mosaic University and Blockchain Academy, have announced their own one of a kind Blockchain Business course. The course will explain the blockchain landscape in Brazil and will go into in-depth concepts like smart contracts, self-executing computer protocols, and tradeoffs for blockchain infrastructures. It also touches concepts like the nature of tokens, crowdfunding models via blockchain, decentralised applications, and Web 3.0. The course is 100% online with a workload of 42 hours and requires no prior blockchain knowledge.

Argentina

Argentina Wants to Surpass Brazil and Take the Lead in Latin America Blockchain: The government of Argentina has made its intentions clear as it tries to take over Brazil and become a leader in technological innovation in Latin America. For instance, the government held a meeting of Secretariat of Science and Technology with the representatives of the private sector, scientific, and academic community to draw up the policy guidelines for the National Artificial Intelligence Plan 2020-2030. The goal of the meeting was “to define a plan throughout 2019 and insert it into the government’s Digital Agenda to develop a digital intelligence lab.” The government has also enacted several other groundbreaking initiatives such as the development of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain applications, and the Ministry of Production and Labor announced a partnership in Latin America with Binance Labs to financially support the development of blockchain-based projects.

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Turning Back the Clock: Investor Pays Almost $20,000 a Bitcoin in Trading Gaffe

Turning Back The Clock: Investor Pays Almost ,000 A Bitcoin In Trading Gaff

Due to a glitch this week, a small Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange turned back the clock selling cryptocurrency at 2017 prices which finally hit USD 19,000 by the end of the day.

The problem was down to a local exchange TemBTC selling to a trader who placed a large market order, which effectively “cleaned” the platform’s thinly-traded order book. Records indicate that Bitcoin was also bought for USD 16,000, USD 13,000, and USD 10,000 before mirroring the 2017 peak rate.

TemBTC’s founder Renato Abreu said that the order was placed by “someone with little knowledge who issued a large market order.” The episode saw the trader pay a price above that of bitcoin’s all-time high on Brazilian exchanges, which was of USD 18,900 in December of 2017.

Luckily for the trader, he was buying a small amount purchasing 0.0047 BTC for 340 Brazilian reals, which at the time was worth about USD 91 rather than its value of less than USD 15 on other local exchanges. At that price, a Bitcoin would have cost the buyer over USD 19,400.

Brazil has experienced a groundswell of interest in cryptocurrency despite the country’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, recently shutting down an indigenous cryptocurrency project. Bolsonaro’s pledge to open the “black box” of contracts and projects by state-owned economic development bank BNDES and other institutions does not augur well for the country’s indigenous population, who stood to gain from the issue of their own regional cryptocurrency as part of an innovative project to support minorities.

TemBTC, like other exchanges, has gained much encouragement from the rising levels of cryptocurrency trading in Brazil, with their daily trading volume reportedly hitting 2,000 BTC recently. Abreu indicated that the volume increase has been due to the “registration of large players” on the exchange.

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Samba School to Depict History of Money to Bitcoin in Rio Carnival

Samba School to Depict History of Money to Bitcoin in Rio Carnival

This year’s iconic Rio Carnival at Marquês de Sapucaí Sambódromo is to feature a performance depicting the history of money from the development of early 7th century coins to Bitcoin.

Give Me Some Money“, is the work of, no not Abba, but prominent Brazilian samba school Imperatriz Leopoldinense, who are currently working on their entry for this year’s Carnivale. The school is so confident this year that they are hoping that their elaborate entry will win them the prize for the first time since 2001.

The performance will track the history of money concluding with the advent of cryptocurrencies, mapping out the centuries and the development of coins, paper bills and finally digital currency. Imperatriz Leopoldinense explains:

“Our story is about money and its relationship with humans from their invention to the present time. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important instruments in the economic life of nations and people.”

The events at the Rio Carnival are always flamboyant and colorful, and this depiction of money through the centuries will be no different according to the school. It maps out periods from the 7th century BC to the creation of paper money in China in the 10th century, then follows the South American native population’s first encounter with European conquistadors, to Brazilian money used in the eventuating slave trade.

The school says: “Imagine what life would be without money. How could we buy and sell, receive and pay, stock up and save for the future, if it did not exist?… We’ll end the parade talking about a future already present through cryptocurrencies – a digital resource system designed to function as a medium of exchange.”

As 82-year old Mário Monteiro, who performs along with his sister Cacá Monteiro, 64, points out, it is somewhat ironic to be putting on a performance about money when the carnival is going through its most sustained period of financial difficulty in years, but adds, “It’s time to put the sadness in the drawer and take the joy out of the closet, because it’s Carnival!”

 

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Brazilian Expert Says Blockchain Can Help People Live Longer

Brazilian Expert Says Blockchain Can Help People Live Longer

Blockchain technology has made its mark on several industries such as banking, AI, IoT, and education. But perhaps the industry that will potentially yield the most significant benefit from the technology is healthcare, where the ecosystem of medical data storage and retrieval promises to transform the industry and, consequently, the speed of diagnosis and technological advancement.

Ailtom Nascimento, executive VP of private Brazilian software provider Stefanini, elaborated on the subject in an interview:

“The current scenario involves a digital culture, verticalization of health services and adoption of technologies that effectively propose a cultural and digital transformation, which can aggregate and allow an efficient journey, with greater proximity between doctors and patients. It is important to know and follow the patient’s journey, even before he arrives at a care unit so that he can access information quickly and provide quality care based on concise information.”

The net result of higher data visibility and reliability its accelerated retrieval means quicker discovery of illnesses and hence more effective treatment delivery. This drastic improvement in an industry where every second matter mean the blockchain technology is essentially prolonging the lives of the patients and dramatically increasing their probability of being successfully treated.  

This is the reason why a host of hospitals and healthcare institutes are investing in cutting-edge technology while ensuring that all professionals have full access to technology. Philips is one of such examples who has invested heavily in the integration of new technologies in the healthcare industry. For instance last year, Mark Hennessy, a leading researcher at Philips Research, described how the company is developing a “verifiable data system” which protects the data from any tampering and hides the identity of the patients from unauthorized people to avoid any malpractice.

He revealed how the blockchain-based system uses data anonymization, data request, and request handling to pull this off. All of these developments spell exciting times for all the stakeholders in the medical industry and hopefully bid for a better provision of healthcare for the patients.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 2009

South America

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.

Venezuela

Government protests US Petro sanctions: Venezuela has registered a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization against the US sanctions on its cryptocurrency, Petro. The South American country revealed the development of the new cryptocurrency near the end of 2017 and managed to launch it in 2018. But although it has been in use within several different industries, it has seen a stiff resistance from US lawmakers, and more significantly, by President Donald Trump, who passed an executive order to undermine Petro last March.

Given the perpetually nose-diving bolivar and the consequential spectacular economic inflation, Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro sanctioned the use of cryptocurrency to collect taxes from crypto businesses in the country. But the hurdles set by the US mean that any economic relief is highly unlikely. According to Reuters, the US will now have to respond to the complaint to the WTO within 60 days; otherwise, the organization will have to decide on the complaint’s merits.

Brazil

Brazilian analyst says not possible to compare Bitcoin with tulip bubble: Bitcoin is usually contrasted with the Tulip Mania, which was an economic phenomenon during the Dutch Golden Age where tulip buds reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in 1637. But Samuel Maurer, an analyst at the Bitcoin Banco Group, has dispelled this notion and claims that there is no similarity of the Bitcoin phenomenon with that event.

To justify his claim, the analyst referred to the fact that the cost to price ratio is different from the tulips and this completely differentiates the two phenomena. He also emphasized that cost of Bitcoin production always increases as the value increases, and the market crash in 2018 and the following small recovery in 2019 signifies the health and liquidity of the crypto active market and makes it impossible to be compared with the “tulip fever”.

Brazilian crypto holders seek physical vaults for storing digital assets: As counterintuitive and ironic as it sounds, Brazilian whales and cryptocurrency investors have turned to the good old iron vaults to safeguard their digital cryptocurrency assets. Crypto crimes usually comprise intricate hacking and fancy technologies but recently, there has been a surge in traditional methods of theft like banditry, extortion, and kidnappings.

This means that many Brazilian investors have started to store their wealth in rather elaborate cold storages secured by several armored and reinforced steel doors. The doors can only be accessed using biometrics of authorized persons and palm scanners reading up to 5 million individual points on the hand and the blood pressure through infrared waves.

Chile

Supreme Court validates decision to close crypto exchange’s bank accounts: TheChilean Supreme Court has backed the decision of keeping closed the account of cryptocurrency exchange Orionx with state-owned BancoEstado. The saga began earlier this year, when Chilean banks Itau Corpbanca, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Banco Estado decided to curb the cryptocurrency operations in the country by shutting down accounts of the largest digital assets platforms Crypto MKT, Buda and Orionx. An appeal in the Supreme court was filed by the crypto companies in July, but the latest decision of the apex court supporting the actions of the bank and calling crypto activities “illegal and arbitrary” spells bad news for the future of cryptocurrency in the country.

Argentina

NEM Foundation to develop blockchain-powered copyright system for journalists: NEM Foundation and CISPREN, a local trade union of journalists of the city of Cordoba, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will lead to the establishment of a blockchain-powered solution for copyright protection. The memorandum aims to solve problems associated with protection of intellectual property rights, including content theft, plagiarism, and royalty defaults.

The solution will allow authors to upload their content directly to the blockchain, which will create a timestamp as proof of authenticity and will also attach a unique QR code and a digital signature to each piece to serve as a proof of ownership in case of any fraudulent activities.

 

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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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Founder of the Largest Brazilian Bitcoin Exchange Dies in Car Crash

brazilian, cryptocurrency, foxbit

Gustavo Schiavon, one of the four co-founders of Brazil’s largest crypto exchange, Foxbit, has died in a car crash near the country’s capital São Paulo.

The accident reportedly took place between the car that 24-year-old Schiavon was driving and other vehicles including a truck when he lost control in heavy rain and collided with the truck. Schiavon’s girlfriend, Ariadny Rinolfi, who was with him at the time of the collision has survived but is currently in intensive care.

Schiavon is well known in his native Brazil for co-founding Foxbit in 2014 which became one of the country’s largest BTC exchanges winning prestigious prizes for innovative development. The exchange hit the news this year when it was hacked to the tune of $1million, but remained in business whilst also refunding customer losses.

More recently, a Brazilian bank had attempted to close the Foxbit account resulting in a lawsuit against the bank for attacking customers rights. The unsuccessful lawsuit became a trigger for other Brazilian banks to begin denying services to exchanges and shutting down further accounts based on the belief that they were a haven for money laundering. Since then exchanges have begun to search beyond traditional banking in order to find a solution to the problem.

The latest news coming out of Brazil which will affect exchanges is the announcement that the Brazilian National Social Development Bank, a state-run bank, will be launching a pilot program of the BNDES token in January 2019. The BNDES will be a stable coin pegged 1:1 with the Brazilian Real (BRL).

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 7th to 13th December 2018

South America

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.

Venezuela

Government starts converting pension payments to Petro: The government of Venezuela has started converting pensioners’ payment to state cryptocurrency Petro, away from the national currency Bolivar without taking them on board. The move is part of latest measures by the Nicolas Maduro-led government to power through Petro cryptocurrency into the national fold.

According to local daily Caracas Chronicles, the country’s pensioners were notified of the move only after the funds were converted. The government’s message indicated that the funds were now in the state’s cryptocurrency for savings purposes.

According to the local publication, originally, bolivars were sent to the pensioners but the government unilaterally converted them into the allegedly oil-backed cryptocurrency.

The Venezuelan government has been trying to push for Petro adoption for months despite serious issues regarding its operation, circulation and government’s control on the affairs. Other countries and trading partners including India and Russia have also refrained from using the cryptocurrency for international payments.

Brazil

Blockchain Academy co-founder optimistic about crypto regulation: Rosine Kadamani, the co-founder of the Blockchain Academy based in Sao Paulo, has expressed optimistic views regarding the future of cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

Speaking with the local media, Kadamani said, “It is not possible to predict how this will happen in the short and medium term, as we have many variants in this process, but I can assure you that the technicians who are currently meeting (from the government and from the crypto ecosystem) are immensely qualified and very knowledgeable well the subject. The good seeds were planted, so I have a very positive view on the future of this relationship.”

Kadamani further predicted that 2019 might be a difficult year for cryptocurrencies but eventually, positive things can be expected from the industry overall in the future.

Exchange in $35 million transfer blunder: A local cryptocurrency exchange based in Brazil accidentally sent USD 35 million to a user who only requested a withdrawal of USD 127. The exchange in question is Bitcambio and the news was broken by local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin.

According to the news, the user Kaique Nunes soon received frantic calls from the exchange’s support to send back the extra USD 34.473 million.

According to Rodrigo Souza, an administrator at the exchange: “People, the mistake really happened. Kaique will be reimbursed for all the costs he has to go to the notary’s office to solve this shit. The note is already being canceled.”

Chile

Chile court says banks can ban crypto exchanges: Top Chilean court has finally ruled in favor of the state-owned Banco Estado and has declared that banks have the authority to shut down banking accounts as they see fit. The ruling overturns earlier decision by a lower court that forced the bank to open the accounts during the trial itself.

The affected cryptocurrency exchange, Orionx, had filed the complaint earlier this year when Banco Estado closed its account without prior warning. The court cited the bank’s concerns regarding its ability to monitor transactions and identities of cryptocurrency traders the reason behind this decision.

The ruling said: “These characteristics and elements determine, therefore, the current impossibility for the Bank to comply with the aforementioned obligations, since it prevents it from knowing in depth the financial activities related to cryptocurrencies developed by the appellant, the most relevant characteristics of its operations, the foundations on which these are supported and, finally, if their amounts are excessive or not.”

It is yet to be seen how the cryptocurrency market will react to the ban.

 

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