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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 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

G20 crypto regulations in Argentina could spell blockchain revolution: The crypto regulations being devised by G20 countries after a meeting in March in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires could mean serious development for the blockchain space.

The G20 study group has since engaged in intensive studies to know more about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and other fintech innovations introduced in the blockchain space. The main purpose of the study is to devise regulations that will ensure transparency of the new space and not stifle the innovation and economic growth resulting from blockchain development.

Argentina is already one of the most progressive places in the world when it comes to blockchain technology and is looking to adopt common-sense regulations that will help the rapidly expanding industry.

Venezuela

Government aims to finance villas for homeless with Petro: Venezuelan authorities are looking to counter ways to end the homeless epidemic in the country with the help of its national cryptocurrency, the Petro, according to latest reports.

While the Petro has found limited success outside the country, President Nicholas Maduro’s government is promoting it restlessly and is determined to implement it within the country. It is also planning to merge it with the local Bolivar fiat currency, something that hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world.

According to Telesur news outlet, the villas for the homeless will be built under the La Gran Mision Venezuela Housing Project and it offers a decent, cost-effective solution to the deserving families. It is yet to be seen how the cryptocurrency will be used to pay the contractors and laborers as it is still in its infancy.

JP Morgan CEO advises Venezuelans against HODL Bitcoin to avoid inflation: In an unsurprising move, the CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, has advised the Venezuelan people not to hodl Bitcoin in an effort to avoid the effects of hyperinflation. He had previously called Bitcoin a “scam” and said that he had no “interest in it”, according to a Bloomberg publication on 5 August.

Now a part of the reason behind the critique of the biggest cryptocurrency in the world is its volatility. While Bitcoin price tanked recently, resulting in huge losses for investors, in Venezuela, mathematically, the currency can still protect them from hyperinflation, which is around 18,000% at this time.

Coinbase transfers halted in Venezuela: Several Coinbase users reported that they had lost the ability to withdraw or send cryptocurrencies from their accounts, prompting debates whether this was a result of the latest round of US sanctions on the embattled country.

Disabling transfer of cryptocurrencies would mean that Coinbase is being forced to comply with the Trump administration’s latest ban on trading Venezuelan assets.

Brazil

200,000 routers hacked in Brazil in latest cryptojacking episode: Around 200,000 routers were reportedly hacked by illegal miners to mine XMR cryptocurrency.

The hack especially targeted MikroTik routers that are popular in the country, using them to create a massive botnet network for mining purposes. A patch for this vulnerability was issued by the manufacturers back in April but many of the non-updated devices were still present and this caused a vulnerability in their connectivity that was preyed upon by the hackers.

All MicroTik users are advised to get the latest patch from the company to avoid such cryptojacking episodes in the future.

Bitcoin can become legal form of payment, says Brazilian presidential candidate: A candidate for Presidency João Amoêdo has said that Bitcoin can eventually be considered as a legal form of payment in the South American country.

Amoêdo is the candidate of the Partido NOVO or The New Party that is running on a platform of fintech revolution and integration of blockchain for better governance in the country. In a recent interview with The Bitcoin Portal, Amoêdo outlined his vision for blockchain development in the country.

Peru

Cryptocurrency trading showing positive development in Peru: Peru is joining the rest of the South American countries by showing positive growth in crypto trading volumes according to figures released by Localbitcoins.com.

An increase of up to 50% was witnessed in the trading volume, with transactions up to BTC 106 being carried out in the country despite the presence of an extremely bearish market. Latin America is often touted as a crypto-friendly destination in the world.

 

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The post South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 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

Exchange wins case against bank that closed its account: Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange Walltime has won a recent court battle against local fiat bank Caixa Economica Federal that chose to freeze its accounts with more than USD 200,000 in funds.

According to local Bitcoin website Portal do Bitcoin, Walltime won a preliminary injunction against its funds meaning that while the case isn’t finally decided, the exchange has now access to its funds in the interim period.

Walltime’s lawyer, Graziele Brandao said:

“Given that the nature of Walltime’s activity requires an open bank account in as many institutions as possible to facilitate 24/7 negotiations, Walltime suffered a lot of damage in that period.”

According to Brandao, the losses amount to much more than then quarter of a million dollars worth present in the bank at the time. It also lost some users because they weren’t able to withdraw and receive transactions through the bank.

The move follows a regional trend that involves banks illegally cracking down on exchanges and then exchanges winning cases in courts or temporarily getting their funds back as the case drags on.

Argentina

Government launches blockchain for public services: The government of Argentina has announced that it will have its own distributed ledger or DLT that will help provide service for various government agencies.

The blockchain will be called the Federal Blockchain of Argentina and is in development stages right now. The developers will help ensure that the platform is used to improve public processes and standardize private applications of the tech as well. There will be 15 stages of implementation overall.

OneCoin Ponzi postpones going public: The developers of OneCoin, a probable Ponzi coin scheme, have announced that they will be looking to push the release of their coin ahead in time due to issues faced by the company right now.

Back in 2017, the ROIs of the company crashed dramatically thus resulting in loss of coins and investment that had previously kept the organization afloat.

Venezuela

Government to peg local currency with Petro and reduce hyperinflation: The Venezuelan government is on yet another bold move as the embattled state decided to peg its Bolivar fiat currency to its fiat national cryptocurrency that is supposedly backed by oil. It has also decided to remove five zeros from the Bolivar that is suffering from hyperinflation.

Speaking to the nation Nicholas Maduro, the president of Venezuela said:

“The economic re-conversion will start on August 20 definitively with the circulation and issuance of the new Sovereign Bolivar.”

Venezuela’s considerable problems in the economy are well known and it will take a lot of effort and austerity from the government to solve the current issues. Petro has been seen as a viable alternative that can solve these problems and circumnavigate the heavy sanctions placed on it by the United States.

Chile

5,000 merchants now accept crypto payments in Chile: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency penetration in Chile is encouraging, as local payment company Flow and its new partnership with Cryptomkt exchange allow customers to pay for daily goods and services with cryptocurrencies.

The move is especially encouraging in the country as it comes in the backdrop of a Court of Appeals order that ruled banks banning exchanges accounts illegal. Flow is an integrated platform for the solution of transactions. It has more than 20,000 active customers and offers services in several mainstream online payment gateways including WebPay, and OnePay.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 12th July 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

Ronaldinho launches own crypto: Brazilian football icon Ronaldinho is joining the cryptocurrency bandwagon by launching his own cryptocurrency project, according to latest reports from Brazil.

Rather than just promising a cryptocurrency, Ronaldinho is aiming to launch a football ecosystem including football academies, holding professional and amateur matches around the world, building and operating a sports betting platform and marketplace and developing VR stadiums around the world.

The project is definitely an ambitious initiative by the smiling Brazilian who was the star of the World Cup in 2002. The coin he is launching is being touted as Ronaldinho Soccer Coin (RSC). The project will reportedly be based on the Ethereum blockchain and will be executed via a partnership with World Soccer Coin, a Malta-based blockchain startup. Ronaldinho has also Tweeted about the particular project.

Chile

Crypto mining consumes more electricity than Chile amid UN Calls for reducing carbon footprint: According to latest reports from Digiconomist, the total energy being used by cryptocurrency mining has now surpassed the total consumption of the whole of Chile. The total amount of power being used in the last 12 months has been around 13.66 TWh to 71.62 TWh.

The amount of energy used by cryptocurrencies has seen a steady increase in recent years despite mining companies announcing more efficient mining equipment. The UN has already called for reducing the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining around the world but historically, mining companies have only operated in areas with cheap electricity.

Argentina

Universities offering blockchain courses: Argentinian universities, along with those in Spain and Venezuela, are now offering courses in cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

While cryptocurrency training and courses are nothing new in other parts of the world especially Asia, Argentina is seeing a rapid advance towards cryptocurrency adoption. The new courses in Spanish offer training in Bitcoin, Ethereum and blockchain programming.

Venezuela

Crypto helping people survive in Venezuela: The Venezuelan public suffering from crushing debt is now using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to aid survival.

Hyperinflation is rampant in this part of the world despite the country having one of the largest reserves of oil in the world. The trading volume in the country also keeps hitting record highs despite a government ban on trading. All of this means cryptocurrencies are still going strong in the country and are helping the people avoid hyperinflation and put food on the table.

The Bitcoin Magazine did a series of reports on how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are helping people survive. The example included anonymous accounts from people who used cryptocurrency trading and holding to cancel out the effects of hyperinflation in the country.

One Alias Hector said:

“We were almost running out of food some days ago; it was common for that to happen every six or seven days after getting paid. With the 3 Nano (around USD 8) we were able to buy food for the whole week and that’s only something to be very happy about, something that doesn’t happen very often.”

Petro to help fund 2 million homeless people: The Venezuelan government has said it plans to initiate a fund for the homeless population using the state cryptocurrency called Petro.

The country’s minister for housing Ildemaro Villarroel has said that the project will be initiated in the second quarter and will be financed by the state cryptocurrency and more than 33 companies have already started logistics, financial and technical testing.

Villarroel said:

“Together with the governors, we are reviewing the plans that we will begin in the second quarter, in this second quarter GMVV will have an injection of financial resources, which this year will be protected and established with [the] Petro.”

The Petro cryptocurrency was launched amid great fanfare by the current president Nicholas Maduro but has since then struggled to become a widely accepted cryptocurrency despite efforts by the government.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 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

Major bus companies start accepting Bitcoin payments: Two big bus companies have started accepting payments in Bitcoin in a first for the country according. Both of these companies are game changers in the industry as one has the largest fleet of buses while the other is considered the most modern service in the country.

Brasil Sul and Viacao Garcia have started accepting payment in Bitcoin from 6 June. The payment option is available on their websites. According to one:

“The group opted, initially, to use Bitcoin (BTC), the most popular virtual currency on the market today… [and] by July, two other cryptocurrencies will be accepted: Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.”

ABCB wants banks to service crypto firms again: To fight the onslaught of banks against cryptocurrencies, Brazilian crypto association ABCB has announced that it is going to pressurize banks to start accepting cryptocurrency exchange accounts again.

Banks in Brazil have resorted to closing cryptocurrency exchange accounts in the past and if they continue to do so, ABCB is going to take action in this regard to protect the interests of the crypto community. Recently, ABCB has petitioned the Brazilian Council for Economic Defense to stop banks from exercising this option. The president of ABCB even went as far calling this an “abusive practice” by the banks.

Further meetings with the central bank representatives and securities exchange commission are also planned to further the cause of cryptocurrencies.

Argentina

G20 proposes unified regulation: The G20 is calling for global regulations for cryptocurrencies and crypto startups.

The G20 proposed these regulations after the members expressed concern because of hacking and other criminal activities that were taking place presumably because of lack of regulations.

Colombia

Banks to be confronted by exchange over closure of crypto accounts: Colombia is going to be yet another battleground in the crypto world as popular South American cryptocurrency exchange Buda is set to pursue three banks that shuttered its accounts without prior notice according to latest reports by Bloomberg.

Buda is buoyant after it won an initial case in Chile against closure of its accounts in the country and would look to have a similar decision across the border in Colombia.

A Buda director said, “There are mixed messages coming from the financial sector on innovation. The Colombian government promotes innovation and development, but when it comes down to it, they block what they don’t understand and are putting the brakes on financial technology.”

Chile

Six major banks sued by crypto exchange: Chile is facing yet another crypto legal battles as a local exchange has filed a lawsuit against six big banks in the country that are reportedly abusing power and quashing its business.

Orionx, the exchange in question, filed this latest lawsuit in the country’s competition court named Court for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) according to reports by Diario Financiero. The six banks are Bancoestado, Banco de Chile, Banco Bice, Itaú Corpbanca, Santander and Scotiabank.

According to Orionx’s attorney: “The demand before the TDLC is based on the fact that the defendant banks, abusing a dominant position and with sufficient market power, excluded Orionx from the market of digital payments that was achieved through the refusal of sale and exclusive practices”.

The banks are supposedly on the back foot as they lost similar cases against other cryptocurrency exchanges in the recent past.

Venezuela

Bitcoin trading increases as inflation hits record 14,000%: Bitcoin trading in Venezuela is reaching record numbers as the Bolivar is now inflating at a massive 14,000%. The news came after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its data mapper showed that the country is likely to face five-digit inflation rates in this current calendar year.

Newly re-elected president Nicholas Maduro is reportedly planning on a currency overhaul in June that will remove three zeros from the currency but the move might be late as public confidence on the currency is at an all-time low.

Cryptocurrency ‘hodling’ and trading is becoming a new means of survival for those who are electing to stay in the country according to Wired. With its fiat currency in tatters, cryptocurrencies offer a much more stable alternative that will help re-ignite economic growth and development in the country.

 

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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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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 6th to 13th April 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.

Chile

Chile undergoing trials for Ethereum-based pilot to store energy data: Chile’s national energy commission Comisión Nacional de Energía de Chile (CNE) has announced a new project that will utilize the Ethereum blockchain to store the energy sector data.

In a press release issued on 6 April, the CNE detailed the benefits of using a decentralized system as opposed to a centralized “easy to manipulate” standard security database. The Ethereum blockchain’s revolutionary capability to be programmed by any entity lends power to the initiative.

CNE’s latest move will allow the public to see the data through several graphical user interfaces. Chile’s minister for energy Susana Jimenez noted the crucial nature of the public disclosure of critical energy data. It will allow the public to access the readily available information and increase confidence in the government’s working.

Argentina

Argentina hosts Bitcoin Day: Argentine capital Buenos Aires was home to the Bitcoin Day conference which welcomed more than 500 crypto enthusiasts. Bitcoin is being greeted with open arms in the South American nation that has suffered from hyperinflation and other economic issues in the recent past.

In 2017 alone, the volume of Bitcoin traded in the nation was close to 2.1 million Argentine Peso (ARS), four times the amount traded last year.

In the conference, Carlos Maslaton, head of treasury at wallet provider Xapo, said that he was satisfied with current dialogue in the country with the financial institutions and there was generous competition in the markets.

Venezuela

Petro faces allegations of falsifying records: Venezuela’s controversial cryptocurrency Petro has taken another hit after falsification was found in a discrepancy report based on its white paper. The issue was reported both by CCN and Criptomoedas Fácil. The whitepaper shows that 38.4 million tokens were to be sold, each valued at USD 60 with a 60% discount at the ICO stage. If the stage went as planned, USD 2.304 billion would have been raised. President Maduro claimed that USD 5 billion was raised in the ICO which is in a direct contradiction of this.

This supports earlier claims that the Venezuelan cryptocurrency might not be transparent and that the government might be meddling in its records. Still not much is known regarding the mechanism of the El Petro Coin which is supposed to be backed by oil.

Brazil

Brazil university launches Bitcoin masters program: Sao Paulo-based University Fundacao Getulio Vargas has announced that it will be offering a masters degree in cryptofinance to prepare students for the future of digital currencies. The program is a reflection of Brazil’s forward-thinking approach in the decentralized sector. The University of Sao Paulo is also embracing new technologies including blockchain and cryptocurrencies in its derivatives course.

 

 

 

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