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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 20th to 26th 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

Football legend Ronaldinho launches own crypto: Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho has joined Neymar, Messi and James Rodriguez in launching another soccer cryptocurrency that will attract investment from the sports community.

The Ronaldinho Soccer Coin (RSC) as the coin is called, is launched on the NEO blockchain platform which is widely known as the Chinese Ethereum. Through this coin project, the football icon aims to launch his own football academy and host amateur and league matches around the world and promote new players and the sport itself.

Ronaldinho said regarding the coin:

Ever since I thought of retiring, I started to think about my life after retirement. I wish to contribute to the world as much as I can.”

Ronaldinho has partnered with the World Soccer Coin company based in Malta and 350 million tokens are up for grabs as of now. The move follows an increasing interest by the footballing community in crypto as the Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers announced the first major deal with cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinDeal.

Avast cybersecurity company releases crypto user survey: A new user survey by antivirus company Avast shows the latest trends in cryptocurrency investment in Brazil with as much as 30% Brazilians interested in investing in the cryptocurrency.

The Avast survey showed that cryptocurrency interest is increasing in Brazil due to the lucrative nature of the coin market. A total of 1,900 Brazilians were interviewed randomly in the study and a large number of them (84%) admitted that they had at least heard of cryptocurrencies and how they operated.

But on the downside, most of the Brazilians only knew about Bitcoin among major cryptocurrencies. Some also have no clue about how blockchains work and how they can be used for Dapps and other initiatives. Nevertheless, as the coin market becomes more popular, cryptocurrency education will be mainstreamed and more people will come to know about its working in the future.

Bitcoin trader sees passport frozen after criticizing tax laws: A Brazilian Bitcoin pioneer and trader’s passport has been frozen after he slammed the government’s tax service including two leading officials in a video statement on Youtube.

Daniel Alvas Fraga, a well-known libertarian and Bitcoin trader, was previously hit by a lawsuit by two tax auditors from the country, Marcio Oliveira Damasceno and Mario Pereira de Pinho Filho, who accused him of libel and slander in a previous video in which he slammed the organization. The case was registered back in 2015 and now the government has taken action against his Brazilian nationality.

Now his official passport has been suspended by the government so that he won’t get away without facing consequences, according to Portal do Bitcoin. The news outlet reported:

“It was further determined, by court order, that his voter’s title, any Internet service contracted by him or in which he was in any a beneficiary, should be suspended, in addition to suspending and preventing the renewal of his driver’s license.”

Fraga is yet to respond to these moves by the government.

Venezuela

Cryptocurrency-tied bolivar to be launched in August: Venezuela’s president Nicholas Maduro, a chief proponent of national cryptocurrency Petro, has said that the weak national currency bolivar will be redenominated in the future and tied to the cryptocurrency, according to latest statements on the Venezuelan National Television.

Maduro said:

“The new bolivar will be issued on August 20 and will be tied to the petro [cryptocurrency]… We will also knock five zeros off the bolivar.”

Venezuela launched the state-owned cryptocurrency Petro this year but its use has so far been limited due to reluctance by other countries and public alike to adopt it.

Dash making inroads in Venezuela’s troubled economy: Popular secrecy-centric cryptocurrency Dash is making inroads into the Venezuelan economy that is struck by poverty and hyperinflation.

Dash is one of the three cryptocurrencies being used in Venezuela, the others being Bitcoin and Nano. While Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency, Dash is now being accepted in over 522 domestic stores across the country.

Dash’s popularity is linked to an increased market campaigning in the country including monthly conferences, seminars and other mass contacts.

Venezuelan inflation to hit 1 million per cent, forcing people to buy crypto: More bad news from Venezuela shows that the hyperinflation in the country could reach 1 million per cent at the end of the current year according to latest reports from International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The South American country’s condition is already critical as it is suffering from four digit inflation right now but the latest report shows just how bad the state of things is expected to be in the South American country in the near future. The IMF released a comprehensive report on Latin America including some of its better performing neighbors like Chile and Peru.

According to the report:

“We are projecting a surge in inflation to 1,000,000 per cent by end-2018 to signal that the situation in Venezuela is similar to that in Germany in 1923 or Zimbabwe in the late 2000s.”

These reports are extremely discouraging but will contribute to a rise in demand for cryptocurrencies in the country to help avoid inflation.

Argentina

Central Bank of Chile mastering Bitcoin to fight depreciating petro: The Central Bank of Argentina, Banco Central de la Republica Argentina (BCRA), is studying Bitcoin enthusiastically, according to latest reports from the South American bank.

A list of books are being asked by the Central Bank, including ‘Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain 2nd Edition’ and ‘Blockchain Basics A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 steps’.

These books are expected to help the Central Banking Institute to understand the intricate working of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, thus paving the way for common sense regulations and reform.

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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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