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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th April to 3rd May 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.

Argentina

Growing number of Bitcoin ATMs despite regulation: Bitcoin ATMs are being deployed around the world and Argentinian companies are also setting up large numbers across the country despite heavy government regulation on cryptocurrencies that is hampering the growth of the cryptocurrency space.

More than 200 Bitcoin ATMs deployed across Argentina: US ATM distributor Odyssey Group has announced that it has signed pre-agreements to install over 4,000 cryptocurrency ATMs across the Latin America country after the central bank BCRA agreed to loosen up restrictions in the space.

According to the relaxed rules, ATMs can be installed in supermarkets, shopping malls and even cinemas. Right now only the Argentinian company Bancelo has the license to install them only within bank premises but the new legislation has unveiled the path to massive Bitcoin ATMs across the country.

Brazil

Traders bet big on crypto options market: Brazilian traders have made a bold move into the cryptocurrency options market because of the volatility in the markets. They bought more than USD 1.4 billion worth of contracts on Tuesday alone, hoping it will pay off if the currency increases its value next week. Trading volume has jumped up 25 times the average volume in recent two weeks alone.

Political volatility including upcoming elections are also increasing investor anxiety and it could have effects on the investor attitude in the market.

Exchange hacked for BTC 58 overall losses: Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange FoxBit’s woes continued with a login issue resulting in traders losing more than BTC 58 in different cryptocurrencies. The cause was a bug in the login menu that allowed users to withdraw double amounts of cryptocurrencies. FoxBit was a little late to respond to the threat and had to close for 14 days. All in all, around BTC 58 (USD 540,000) was lost in the hacks.

The bug was first noticed in the Brazilian cryptocurrency circles by Leandro Trindade. His own investigation into the issue revealed that traders could even change their 2FA settings with a one-time password thus locking users out of their accounts.

In an interview with Portal do Bitcoin, Trindade said, “I could be rich right now. But my code of ethics won’t let me.”

Angry traders were reporting all sorts of losses on the platform, as much as USD 10,000 each, while the operating company has blamed the users for enabling weak security and revealing sensitive information to third parties by the users.

Chile

Court orders banks to re-opening crypto exchange accounts: Chile’s anti-monopoly court has ruled that the two Chilean banks who suspended the accounts of the cryptocurrency exchange BUDA, have to be re-open the accounts. The announcement was seen as a victory by the BUDA and CryptoMKT exchanges against the might of the Association of the Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF) after the latter reportedly agreed on a policy to contain the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Their statement read: “The lack of knowledge and regulatory clarity has given rise to the fact that some banks, out of fear, misinformation or perhaps by strategy, are refusing to provide their services to anyone who has any relationship with any digital asset”.

Minister supports crypto initiatives after positive court decision: Chile’s Minister of Economy Jose Valente has come out and supported the cause of embattled cryptocurrency exchanges and put his weight behind their cause to get their bank accounts re-opened.

Diario Financiero reported him as saying, “What interests us with cryptocurrencies is basically giving them the opportunity [to develop] because they are an important innovation that is happening in the world… You have to give them a chance.”

He also said that Chile cannot remain outside these innovations and “economy of the future”.

Venezuela

India offered 30% discount on crude oil purchases in Petro: Venezuela is offering a big discount to other central banks to accept payment in its Petro cryptocurrency. It has offered India a 30% discount on its crude oil purchases but only if India uses Petro to pay for them.

It is difficult to say whether or not India will take up the offer as there is much to learn about the cryptocurrency. The Reserve Bank of India is already in the midst of a crackdown against Bitcoin traders across the South Asian country.

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