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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th 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.

Brazil

Crypto Conference VI Bitconf held in Brazil: A cryptocurrency conference VI Bitconf in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo saw a huge number of crypto enthusiasts, panels and top industry leaders participate according to local Bitcoin news outlet Portal do Bitcoin. Among them was Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponent Roger Ver who runs the controversial site Bitcoin.com. He took the opportunity to make big claims about the future of the volatile Bitcoin fork, even going as far as to say that BCH was the real Bitcoin and not BTC itself, and will soon surpass it.

He also lambasted the government-issued Petro coin from Venezuela. He said: “I would be very skeptical about anything that comes from governments, even more so from the government of Venezuela.”

How many Brazilians actually use crypto? According to an extensive survey of more than 29,000 people in 8 of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world USA, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, China and India, Brazil, many statistics were found.

Brazil scored 61% in crypto awareness, 39% in crypto knowledge, 5% in crypto buying intention and 6% in overall numbers of people in ownership of coins. The survey shows Brazil is up there with the very best when it comes to adopting cryptocurrencies.

Argentina

Entrepreneur constructs large Bitcoin bunkers: Argentine Entrepreneur Wences Caseres is the CEO of Xapo and has constructed a network of underground vaults around the world for the sole purpose of storing Bitcoin private keys according to a piece from Moneyweb.

The security method focuses on encrypted computer services along with layers of electronic and physical safeguards to protect the precious Bitcoin of clients. The process of retrieving BTC from these vaults may take up to two days. Xapo first identifies the client’s identity before undergoing an arduous process of facilitating transactions manually from multiple vault locations. Verification from at least three vaults is needed before the transaction can take place.

More than USD 10 billion worth of Bitcoin is stored in these vaults which is close to 7% of the global supply according to recent estimates. Xapo has major backers in the form of LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and former wall street bigwig Mike Novogratz. It is registered in the US.

Bitcoin challenging Argentina’s cash-only reputation: Argentina still heavily relies on its fiat cash economy despite a wave of interest in cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular. Over 2,000 Bitcoin ATMs are slated to open in the South American nation. Owing to recent unreliability of the value of its local currency, Argentina is proving to be a fertile ground for the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Venezuela

Venezuela and Palestinian authority approve millionaire Petro fund: The governments of Palestine and Venezuela have agreed to adopt Petro at state levels in some capacity, according to latest news regarding the first national cryptocurrency in the world. Despite recent setbacks with Russia, the Venezuelan government is relying heavily on Petro as a game-changer for an economy blighted by US sanctions.

In addition to Petro, the Palestinian and Venezuelan governments have agreed on a series of measures to improve relations and engage in increased economic cooperation.

Crypto youth bank announced: President Nicholas Maduro, a chief proponent of the Petro state cryptocurrency has recently announced a new project for young people in the country that will provide banking facilities to them. He also earmarked 20 million Petro tokens for the new project.

The move will raise funds from young people and help them get access to good jobs and education.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 13th to 19th 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

Crypto exchanges fight back on bank blockade: Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges have filed cases in Chilean appeal courts in an attempt to overturn the government’s forced shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges through three of the largest banks namely Bank of Nova Scotia, Itau Corpbanca and state-owned bank Banco El Estado de Chile.

Three of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges Buda.com, Crypto Market (Crypto MKT) and Orionx are currently blocked from using banks at all. At the time of the ban, the state-owned Banco del Estado de Chile said that it will stop operating “with companies that are dedicated to the insurance or creation, brokerage, intermediation or serve as a platform for the so-called cryptocurrencies”.

Cryptocurrency trading in Chile is significant with Buda alone handling USD 1 million worth of cryptocurrency trades on a daily basis. The defense lawyer was of the opinion that this decision was a gross exploitation of a situation of economic independence.

The reasoning provided by banks has little or no details and the exchanges are buoyed by this lack of detail in securing back their operations in the South American country.

Chile trials transparent blockchain-based energy data for the public: Chile’s national energy organization, Nacional de Energía de Chile (CNE), has announced that it is launching a new pilot project to utilize Ethereum blockchain smart contracts to store energy products and their data from the nation’s abundant reserves.

The CNE issued a press release recently that detailed benefits of using a decentralized system rather than an easily manipulated central security database. The data will be stored in a distributed ledger on EnBenergía Abierta, a database that is stored in hundreds of servers around the country. The public can see and account for the energy data, making for a smooth and transparent government process.

 

Panama

Blockchain embassy in Panama City: Panama has moved forward with a Blockchain Embassy planned for crypto enthusiasts, entrepreneur, activists and connoisseurs opened for the general public. The location is at Balboa Boutiques Strip Mall of Balboa Avenue in Panama City.

Crypto merchandise is available for sale in the new setup as well as themed drinks, new hardware wallets, a coffee ship and a co-working space. In a press release posted on Bitcoin.com, the embassy will also host cryptocurrency workshops, presentations and other events with the general public being welcomed in the Panama crypto community. According to the press release:

“The embassy accepts payments in cash and crypto, and has become an emblematic tourist site in Panama. It receives visitors from all over the world. It is one of the projects created by startup Cryptobuyer.io, known for being the first company in the world to install ATMs in commercial banks, as well as integrating its system Cryptobuyer Pay that allows any commerce to accept payments in Bitcoin and other currencies.”

The site is easily accessible by card and the administration has smartly integrated all of its amenities.

 

Venezuela

Petro cryptocurrency declared as legal tender: The Venezuelan government led by President Maduro has recently decreed state Petro cryptocurrency to be legal tender. The country’s official gazette on 9 April 2018 reported this latest development and President Maduro has also announced that all state institutions will start accepting Petro as legal tender.

Bolivar sees 454% inflation as President Maduro banks on Petro: Venezuela’s stricken economy continues to see hyperinflation of up to 454% in the first quarter of 2018. The Venezuelan Bolivar (VEB) has weakened by an astonishing 8900% in the last 12 months alone. President Maduro, instead of focusing on the hyperinflation, is banking on the new cryptocurrency Petro to quell the ever-increasing hyperinflation in the country.

The hyperinflation has brought the government to the brink of economic collapse and Venezuelans are fleeing the country by the thousands but the focus on Petro, which is at least theoretically backed by oil products, is continued to be seen by the government as an escape route.

Petro awarded Satoshi Nakamoto Prize: Venezuela’s Petro continues to make the headlines despite many problems hawking its development with the first state cryptocurrency recently awarded the Satoshi Nakamoto Prize by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACB) in Moscow. Russia’s alleged help in launching this cryptocurrency was also reported in previous weeks so this prize comes as little surprise.

 

Brazil

Brazilian crypto businesses, exchanges create rival associations: Top Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges BitcoinTrade, Mercado Bitcoin, Foxbit and others have recently joined hands to create a new cryptocurrency association Associação Brasileira de Criptoeconomia (ABCripto), whose purpose is to defend the interests of cryptocurrency users and development of the decentralized economy.

Another rival group of like-minded companies have also launched their own platform – the Associação Brasileira de Criptomoedas e Blockchain (ABCB). This group is led by fintech firm Atlas Project.

XP Investments launches crypto exchange: Brazil’s investment giant XP Investimentos Bank that takes care of more than USD 35 billion for over 500,000 clients, has announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange. The new exchange is called XDEX INTERMEDIACAO LTDA and its registered capital is set at USD 7.3 million.

 

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