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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12-18 October 2018

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

Presidential Candidate Fernando Haddad Announces His Government Plans on Blockchain: Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has announced that he has released his future plans for the government on blockchain to combat fake news and propaganda against him. The move came after a notorious campaign was launched against him which is in contradiction to what he has promised in his plan.

Haddad’s plan was launched on Decred’s blockchain system in partnership with Brazilian company OriginalMy earlier this week. The release was a success and showcases Haddad’s ability to forward a progressive approach towards blockchain innovation. Haddad’s rival far-right candidate, Jair Bolsanaro is also interested in blockchain technology and both have promised to help promote the industry in the South American country.

Brazilian Specialist Says USD Tether’s Decrease in Prices Will Impact Cryptocurrencies Significantly: Brazilian Bitcoin specialist Paulo Boghosian believes that cryptocurrencies will be affected by the recent drop in prices of the USD Tether.

Boghosian believes that actions of the Tether company and liquidity issues are worrying signs and will result in massive issues for the industry if not resolved. However, he did point out that other stablecoin options are also available including TrueUSD, Gemini, Pax and USDC and they will help maintain enough competition to help it not become a short-term problem. However, if Tether is facing an insolvency issue, then the alternatives may not be of much help.

Boghosian is a lecturer at the Blockchain Academy and currently teaches an investment course there.

State Deputy Defends Blockchain and Wants Government to Be More Decentralized: State deputy from Rio Grande do Sul, Fabio Ostermann is one of many cryptocurrency-advocating government representatives in Brazil according to a latest interview.

Ostermann was of the opinion that decentralization and blockchain applications will go a long way in ensuring the distributed nature of democracy in the country. He also stated that he will advocate for the industry in the state legislature.

Prosecutors Believe Lack of Regulations May Make Cryptocurrencies a Means for Money Laundering: According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP), the absence of rules of cryptocurrencies means that cryptocurrencies can be used for illegal money laundering activities.

Rodrigo De Gandis, a prosecutor said at an event organized by the Brazilian Federation of Banks – FEBRABAN:

“We do not know the proper way they are processed, how they are used. There is a legal limbo in terms of regulation, the bodies have not understood how the matter should be regulated. But for the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, crypto-coins are vehicles and tools for money laundering,”

The Brazilian judiciary has already sought information on cryptocurrencies and battle lines may be drawn between cryptocurrency exchanges and banks regarding regulations.

Argentina

Argentina Posts Record Bitcoin Trading Figures Amidst Hyperinflation: Bitcoin trading volumes soared high in Argentina and other parts of South America as inflation rears its ugly head again.

Argentina especially is embracing Bitcoin more openly because the government’s attitude towards the cryptocurrencies is overall positive. Bitcoin ATMs are being opened across the country and many merchants are accepting payments in Bitcoin.

Chile

39% Chileans Have Heard of Cryptocurrencies: A recent study in Chile concludes that almost 39% of the country’s populace has heard of cryptocurrencies. The study was conducted by a group of Chilean researchers who are identifying the impact of cryptocurrencies on the populace.

Cryptocurrency adoption and knowledge is especially associated with the younger generation as 43% of the 18-34 demographic have heard of cryptocurrencies. High resource class (75%) is also leading on the front rather than lower resource groups (25%).

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 11th October 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

Iranian authority declares Brazil country most prone to Coinhive cyber attacks: The Iranian Cybersecurity Authority (CERTCC) has declared that Brazil is the top country among reported attacks involving the CoinHive software.

According to the agency, more than 81,000 attacks were reported by Coinhive in 2017 alone. India came in second with 29,000 followed by Indonesia and Iran itself. This data is not yet endorsed by any other organization.

Coinhive itself is a mining software for Monero cryptocurrency. It has an API that allows you to allocated CPU and other computing resources to mine Monero’s XMR cryptocurrency.

Hackers usually break into a computer to try and install the software in it, remotely mining XMR without the owner’s knowledge. It also comes up bundled with other software packs in some cases.

Blockchain institutions expanding operations: Brazilian blockchain academy and other blockchain institutions are expanding their learning operations across the country and are now increasingly partnering with universities.

Recently, the academy partnered with leading blockchain initiatives like Consensys and expanded to Portugal. In addition, University of Sao Paulo is establishing a postgraduate course in Law and Information Technology which addresses Bitcoin and the decentralized economy. Other institutions like Faculdade Getúlio Vargas (FGV) have signed partnerships with Ripple to expand academic and institutional knowledge of blockchain technology.

New federal deputy of Sao Paulo is pro-crypto: Newly-elected Federal Deputy of State of Sao Paulo Eduardo Bolsonaro has declared that he is in favor of cryptocurrencies and even recorded a video on the subject.

Son of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro Jr is expected to bring a positive change in his state regarding cryptocurrencies and may also be able to influence his father on this matter if he is elected president. The move comes after an increasing number of Brazilian MPs and other members of government have come forward and declared themselves pro-cryptocurrency advocates.

Argentina

Crypto ATMs increasing to help people combat inflation: Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular in Argentina as a means to combat rampant currency devaluation and inflation in the country. Keeping this in mind, two Bitcoin ATM companies, Athena Bitcoin and Odyssey Group, have decided to unveil more than 30 new ATMs in the country as early as the end of 2019.

Cryptocurrencies are set to become more and more popular with countries around the world where inflation is becoming a persistent problem. Argentina has been suffering from inflationary problems a while now as the peso needs constant monetary injections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stay afloat. Currency devaluations present a golden opportunity for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to excel as they don’t have inherent inflationary measures.

Chile

New project tabled in Parliament for blockchain adoption: The Chilean lower house of parliament has been presented with a new project regarding blockchain adoption in the country, according to local media outlet Fortin Mapocho.

The resolution was created back in August but wasn’t presented in front of parliament until 5 October. The bill aims to implement blockchain technology in different public offices across the country. The project is currently being endorsed by two MPs Miguel Angel Calisto and Giorgio Jackson. They claim to have the support of eight other MPs as well.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 28th September to 4th October 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

Local blockchain academy to offer courses in Europe: A Brazilian blockchain academy is now offering two Ethereum blockchain courses in Portugal after considerable success in the home country itself. Brazil and Portugal share a common language and the Portuguese public will look to benefit from the entry of the first such academy in the country.

The two offered courses are Ethereum for Business and Ethereum for Developers. Both of the courses start in November this year and are reserved for entrepreneurs, software developers and professionals who are interested in learning the new technology. The courses cover a wide range of subjects include blockchain technology’s introduction and understanding, smart contracts, decentralized applications (Dapps) and other aspects of the popular technology.

The courses will be covered by blockchain specialist Solange Gueiros, the first woman in Brazil to publish a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.

Government demands exchanges to answer questionnaire or face heavy fine: The Brazilian government’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) has announced the cryptocurrency exchanges have until 19 October to answer a detailed questionnaire dispatched to them or face fines up to USD 25,000.

While the questionnaire had been in discussion for some time, it is only now that it has been delivered to the exchanges. According to Brazilian Bitcoin website Portal do Bitcoin, the questionnaire was demanded after the local cryptocurrency association Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) asked for a government probe into cryptocurrency projects.

The questionnaire has a wide-ranging set of questions including the exchanges’ operations, any harassment done by banking channels and security standards implemented in the system.

According to CADE notes:

“In accordance with art. 40 of the Law 12,529 / 2011, the refusal, omission or unjustified delay of the requested information or documents constitutes an offense punishable by a daily fine of BRL 5,000.00 (five thousand reais) [about USD 1,270], and may be increased by up to twenty (20) times, if necessary to ensure its effectiveness, because of the economic situation of the offender.”

Colombia

Cryptocurrency exchange pleads President for help: Popular crypto exchange Buda has directly asked the Colombian president to help in an open letter. The current president Ivan Duque was requested to reopen bank accounts connected to the exchange.

The open letter read:

“This letter, Mr President, is very kindly and vehemently ask for your intervention in this great problem in order to reopen our bank accounts. We do not ask for special treatment or exceptions. We only ask to have access to basic services, like any entrepreneur who starts with an idea that can have a positive impact on society.”

Three Colombian big banks are creating problems for cryptocurrency exchanges including BBVA, BanColombia and Davivienda. The president is yet to respond on the matter.

Venezuela

Petro cryptocurrency to start sale in November: Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has announced that the sale of the national cryptocurrency Petro will start from November of this year. The move comes despite several technological issues associated with the cryptocurrency that are constantly being highlighted in the crypto circles.

While Maduro also stressed that trading of Petro was also to start in six major cryptocurrency exchanges from 1 October, the exchanges weren’t pointed out by name and even websites like CoinMarketCap haven’t listed it as well. Maduro has also ordered that all oil purchases from other countries should now be made in Petro only.

Petro’s latest white paper states that the currency is backed 50% by oil, 20% by gold, 20 % by iron and 10% by diamonds. However, there is no concrete way to be sure that this is indeed the case as the government is coy about its plans for the cryptocurrency.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 21st to 27th September 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 legal tussle against big bank: Popular Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange Braziliex has won an initial legal tussle against local big bank Bradesco because of closure of bank accounts associated with the exchange.

Braziliex first reported the freezing of crypto-related accounts a while ago and challenged the unilateral decision by the bank in the Sao Paulo Court of Justice. In the court, the bank claimed that cryptocurrencies weren’t regulated by the government and thus, they had risk of money laundering and other illegal activities.

In reply, the exchange’s counsel succeeded in defending the charges by pointing out the different mechanisms the exchange had in place for countering these concerns. The court eventually ruled in favor of Braziliex and imposed a fine on Bradesco if it did not comply. The main trial, however, is still pending.

Antitrust authority investigating suppression of crypto exchanges by banks: Brazil’s antitrust body, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), has launched an investigation into abuse of power by big banks that are allegedly suppressing the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

A complaint was filed by Brazilian Association of Cryptomoedas and Blockchain (ABCB) after Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco, Santander Brasil, Banco Inter and Sicredi banks closed multiple accounts related to a number of cryptocurrency exchanges without following any legal procedure.

According to the notes from CADE, the banks are possibly imposing restrictions on accounts associated with cryptocurrency exchanges, causing losses to the broker.

Argentina & Peru

Peer-to-peer market crypto trading hits record high in Peru and Argentina: P2P cryptocurrency trading activity has witnessed record highs in recent times in Latin American countries of Peru and Argentina following a lowly performance back at the start of this month.

In the previous week, Argentinian Peso (ARS) and Peruvian Sol (PEN) both experienced record activities in trading pairs with Bitcoin (BTC). The fragile economic condition and global interest in cryptocurrencies are seen as the vital reasons behind this sudden increase.

Venezuela

SMS-based Dash service launched: Due to an overbearing government attitude, Dash and other privacy-centric cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular in the South American country. Recently, an SMS-based Dash Portfolio service was launched named Dash Text that requires no internet connection or even a smartphone for that matter.

While hyperinflation is forcing many Venezuelans to adopt cryptocurrencies in the country, the government’s attitude is making things worse as they crackdown on internet services and such. The overall situation of these services is also quite bad in the country and that is why innovative techniques like Dash Text are being adopted in the country to increase the use of cryptocurrencies.

Dash is reporting increasing growth in Latin America because of weak economic indicators and inflation in these countries.

Government banking on Petro but it remains untransferable: Despite the government’s overzealous attempts to mainstream the state cryptocurrency Petro, serious technical and organizational issues continue to hamper its development. The cryptocurrency is still non-transferable in its current form which is a fundamental requirement of any cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, the government of President Nicholas Maduro claims that the cryptocurrency will officially start circulating from 1 October; this will be a baby step towards its adoption in the global markets.

Serious issues continue to plague the cryptocurrency and will hamper its further development and adoption if they remain unresolved.

 

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

Government advised to buy crypto to resolve currency crisis: CoinDesk’s advisory board chairman Michael J Casey has advised the Argentinian government to buy Bitcoin to address financial challenges presenting the country.

The country has been in an economic crisis for the past 30 years and tried a number of solutions of conventional nature to overcome this issue. According to Casey, an out-of-the-box solution like cryptocurrencies is needed to overcome the circular challenges that are present in the fiat model of today.

While it may be a radical move, Argentina must try to look for innovative solutions, according to the adviser.

Brazil

Brazilian Association of CryptoEconomics launched: The Brazilian Association of Cryptoeconomics (ABCCripto) was launched in the country with several members of the Brazilian cryptocurrency scene signing up as pioneering members.

Among the new members, notable names include Luiz Roberto Calado, founder of exchange Bitcoin Market, Natália Garcia, Legal Director at Foxbit and vice president of ABCripto and other members of the community.

Blockchain community holds election through blockchain: The Brazilian Association of Fintech (ABFintech) will hold elections for a new board of directors on 9 October with the help of blockchain technology.

Foxbit, a Brazilian cryptocurrency broker, is about to write an important chapter in its history by moving for a blockchain-based voting system. The election will use the system of OriginalMy, a Brazilian startup specializing in digital signatures and certification of documents through blockchain technology.

Brazilian MPs in talks for creation of parliamentary block for the promotion of crypto: The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country is showing as several members of the Brazilian parliament have started the creation of a Joint Parliamentary Block for Blockchain and Digital Assets.

The current chair of the Science and Technology Commission is responsible for the initiative and has the support of Brazilian Association of Cryptomoedas and Blockchain (ABCB). The parliamentarians are hopeful they can promote the vital industry in the country.

Presidential candidate will implement digital government: A Brazilian presidential candidate has said that he will digitize the governance of the country and focus on blockchain-based applications.

João Amoedo, the candidate of the Novo Party, has said that blockchain technology can become a part of the system that will make public offices more efficient. He also supports mass applications of the Internet of Things initiative.

Venezuela

Petro to be affected by new oil deals: The state cryptocurrency of the Venezuelan government Petro may be hit by new ventures by the government to increase oil production in the country.

While the country itself is still struggling to adopt the new digital currency created by the state, it is still guaranteed by the government to be backed by a barrel of oil each. But once the oil production goes up, theoretically, the price of the Petro will be affected.

The move comes after several loopholes were found in the creation and operation of Petro cryptocurrency in the country. The initial affidavit by the government said that it was linked to oil barrels but investigations showed that lack of investments meant that it wasn’t possible to do so. The 5 billion barrels of oil that were supposedly allocated for Petro itself will take a hit because more oil is being drilled and there is no way to tell where exactly the oil backing Petro is.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 31st August to 6th September 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

First educational center integrating blockchain to verify professional certification: Impacta group based in Brazil has announced the integration of a first blockchain-based educational certification verification program in the country.

The blockchain which is the creation of a Dubai-based startup called Educhain is being widely used in Dubai already but this is the first overseas application of the technology.

According to Marcelo Botelho, Operating Director at Impacta: “Each issued digital certificate gives rise to a single authentication code with the open badge pattern – in addition to a hash code in the blockchain network.”

The certification of the courses can be shared through social media networks and even in the signature of emails.

Mining farm catches fire: A Brazilian crypto mining farm caught fire in the southern part of the country. The farm had almost 70 GPUs installed for mining purposes and was in the process of another expansion.

While there were no human losses reported in the incident, the entire mining operation’s valuable equipment was lost to the fire. Safety issues are often reported, yet neglected in mining operations around the world.

Blockchain investment increasing in Brazil: A recent study by the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES) shows that the blockchain industry is growing steadily in the country along with other parts of the expanded IT industry.

According to the study’s projections, investments in the blockchain-based products will reach USD 9.2 billion by 2021, a ten-fold increase from USD 945 invested in 2017. The projection for 2018 is set at USD 2.1 billion.

The study ranks the US as the top blockchain market but the fastest growth figures will be recorded in Latin America and Japan.

Renault, Eurofarma use Brazilian blockchain to monitor garbage disposal: A Green platform launched by a Brazilian startup is being used by big names like Renault and Eurofarma to help track garbage disposal activities.

The company donates the software to any municipality with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

Argentina

Startup sells virtual land for $120,000: A recent blockchain initiative in Argentina sells virtual land to decentralized inhabitants for a shared living.

The unusual proposal is one of the unorthodox applications of blockchain technology in the world and is viewed by the political scientists as part of a decentralization process called Uberization of the assets.

Number of Bitcoin ATMs increasing in the country: The number of Bitcoin ATMs in Argentina is increasing at a rapid pace as the latest figures show. The country is facing remarkable growth in the region outperforming conventionally strong markets like Brazil.

In 2017 alone, 200 ATMs were installed across the country and the number is likely to increase manifold in the future. A CEO of a Bitcoin ATM company says that a total of 4,000 ATMs may be installed across the nation in the next few years.

Venezuela

Government confirms Petro doesn’t yet exist: An announcement by the Venezuelan government says that Petro is still in development and is not yet available for exchange and general use despite assurances by the President that it will be adopted by banks and the public alike.

While clouds of uncertainty and reports of corruption were present behind the scenes in the creation of the state cryptocurrency, the government always maintained that Petro was a solid cryptocurrency and was forcing banks to adopt it. The latest statement pours cold water into the application of the currency in the near future and raises doubt about the whole process.

 

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

Crypto jacking incidents becoming more common: The Argentinian online community is experiencing increased software and malware attacks resulting in cryptojacking and other cryptocurrency-related cyber crimes.

More than 55% of the online community suffered malware attacks in the country and while most were related to personal identity theft and data theft, increased instances of cryptojacking are being reported as well.

More than 160 million malware attacks were recorded by Kaspersky anti-virus lab throughout Latin America. While the number of cryptocurrency-related attacks weren’t clear, they are clearly on the rise based on the reported user incidents.

Brazil

Crypto investment platform hacked, data of 264,000 users leaked: Popular Brazilian cryptocurrency investment platform Atlas was hacked earlier this week, leaking user information. The parent company repeatedly made reassurances that funds were safe.

The security breach was first announced by a Youtube channel Investimentos Digitais (Digital Investments). All in all, there are 14,500 records regarding leaked user balance data. Overall, there are around USD 39 million worth of BTC deposited on the platform.

According to a popular Brazilian crypto blog Portal do Bitcoin, users have come forward, claiming that the data is real. Atlas acknowledged the situation and said:

“We would like to point out that this wasn’t a Bitcoin theft or a violation of our accounts in the exchanges. However, our customer base was exposed. At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to protect the database and [the] passwords and private keys are encrypted.”

New security measures were also announced by Atlas within a short time to protect user funds.

Architect launches Bitcoin hostel in Rio: A cryptocurrency-themed hostel was announced by Alessandro Santos, an engineer and architect from Paraty, a city located 260 km away from Sao Paulo.

The hostel announced last week as Hostel Bitcoin and booked for its inaugural day. Santos says that the hostel’s services including breakfast, tours and lodging can be paid in cryptocurrencies. Right now, only Bitcoin is available but soon, the hostel will also accept Ripple and Monero.

Government sends crypto exchanges questionnaires: The Brazilian government has sent top cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country a series of questionnaires.

The 14-point questionnaire was sent through the government’s contract forms throughout the last two weeks. Some received it earlier and some later. The document was sent by the Finance Deparment of the government and signed by prosecutor Ana Paula Bez Batti.

While it is illegal to share the questionnaire, a copy was obtained by Portal do Bitcoin and the questions mostly revolved around operations of the crypto exchanges.

Chile

P2P Bitcoin trading spikes in Chile: Chile saw a massive spike in trading volumes in P2P cryptocurrency trading platforms like LocalBitcoins recently following regional trend accelerated by spiraling local currencies.

It is believed the fears of hyperinflation like in neighboring country Venezuela are still present in the country, reminiscent of its own period of inflation back in the 1970s and 1980s. These are pushing people to adopt cryptocurrencies to cushion any effects of hyperinflation in the local currencies.

Venezuela

Petro crypto nowhere to be found: Petro, the state cryptocurrency, is facing difficulties in adoption in the country as the current system braces for its deployment. Shops, banks and retailers are nowhere close to adopting it.

President Nicholas Maduro, an avid supporter of the state cryptocurrency, added to the confusion by saying salaries, pensions and the like will now be pegged to the cryptocurrency. Experts believe that the Bolivar-Petro tether is now workable.

The president also ordered the banks to adopt cryptocurrencies  in the country, creating another economic crisis in the country.

 

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Cryptocurrency News Roundup 17-24 August 2018

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. Next up is South America.

Argentina

Bitcoin ATMs in Argentina Rising: Argentina’s cryptocurrency revolution is becoming clearly evident as more and more Bitcoin ATMs are being installed across the country.

Recently, Matias Goldenhorn, the Director of Latin America at Athena Bitcoin, an American Bitcoin company announced a move for the installation of a number of new Bitcoin ATMs across the country. Athena Bitcoin’s new Bitcoin ATMs include a new one in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. More than 4000 ATMs are expected to be installed in the country in the near future.

Argentina’s Largest Mining Farm in the Works: The biggest cryptocurrency mining farm in the country is being planned as the cryptocurrency scene expands its presence in the region. After Canada, Iceland, and the USA, now miners are looking towards Patagonia, a resource-rich area in Argentina to set up mining farms.

A mining company named Bit Patagonia has announced its plans to set up the biggest mining farm in the country, in the region. The project is said to be a conglomerate of some of the biggest mining names in the world and aimed at testing the waters in the country.

Chile

E-Commerce Accepting Cryptocurrencies on the Rise: Local Chileans are surprised by the announcement made by CryptoMKT, a local cryptocurrency exchange, and payment company Flow. The post stated a while ago that more than 5,000 stores across Chile now accept cryptocurrencies.

One such user thought it was a hoax until she decided to research more into it. She found that right now, the stores are accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stellar Lumens as payment through a website called Cryptocompra. The website offers free sign up for businesses for integrating cryptocurrencies on e-commerce platforms using plugins, according to a blog post by the user.

The crypto options also come with a lesser fee structure as compared to the fiat peso option for the sellers, thus providing a stiff competition to the fiat circles.

Venezuela

Venezuela Becomes Second Largest Cryptocurrency Market for Dash: Dash, a cryptocurrency known for its privacy has announced that Venezuela has become the second largest market for the cryptocurrency in the world.

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group said:

“Earlier this year, Venezuela became our number two market even ahead of China and Russia, which are of course huge into cryptocurrency right now.”

The economic crisis in the country is forcing many Venezuelans to turn to cryptocurrency to circumnavigate the high levels of hyperinflation prevalent since the last few years. Cryptocurrencies other than state-run Petro are banned in the country.

President Announces Move to Tie Cryptocurrency to Bolivar: The President of Venezuela Nicholas Maduro has announced new devaluing measures for the national fiat currency, the bolivar and announced that the new state-run Petro cryptocurrency is pegged to the bolivar now. 

The widely criticised cryptocurrency was launched last year by the Maduro administration but the country is facing difficulties in gaining more acceptance for it, both domestically and abroad.

Bitcoin Venezuela Founder Sees Rejection of Petro: The Venezuelan state cryptocurrency Petro could be in for an early demise as it is reportedly being rejected in favor of more popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dash.

Randy Brito, the founder of Bitcoin Venezuela believes that the rejection of Petro is being experienced because of a lack of trust in the government regarding the new initiative. According to him:

“People don’t trust the government here on anything to do with economics or currency management because they have proven to be so bad. The Petro is not backed by anything, there is no way to back a digital currency to a physical asset like a barrel of oil without having to trust a third party. Here, the third party is the government, so I don’t think anyone that understands this concept believes that they are telling the truth.”

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th 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

Presidential candidate pledges to legalize crypto if elected: Brazilian presidential elections are coming up and a presidential candidate has pledged to legalize cryptocurrency in the country if he gets elected.

Brazil remains a country that doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as actual currencies that can be legally used to settle payments. Jao Amoedo, the Presidential hopeful has said that national currency will remain in its official status but Bitcoin could be accommodated as a foreign currency role like the US Dollar and thus break away from the financial setup dominated by the USA.

While the government doesn’t recognize Bitcoin as an actual currency, it hasn’t stopped Brazilians from investing a lot in it. In 2017 alone, more than USD 2.4 billion in Bitcoin transactions occurred in Brazil alone.

Brazil officials and crypto community debate future crypto regulations: In a new meeting called in by the Chamber of Deputies, representatives of the Brazilian government debated on possible cryptocurrency and blockchain regulations.

The discussion was held publicly in the Getulio Vargas Foundation’s Applied Information Technology Center in Sao Paulo. Different mindsets and opinions were heard in the hearing but the topic was somehow neglected overall. The Brazilian cryptocurrency community is one of the largest in South America and needs new regulation for the recognition of cryptocurrencies as assets or currencies.

Argentina

Argentinian political theorist working on blockchain-based voting systems: A video game developer-turned political theorist from Argentina, Santiago Siri, is working on a new blockchain-based voting system that could make things transparent and effective.

While the democratic system is widely adopted around the world, it is under threat by a new set of powers that are trying to undermine it. The powers include meddling of foreign powers in elections.

Siri’s non-profit startup called Democracy.Earth believes blockchain to be the solution for ensuring transparency in elections.

Chile

Thousands of businesses now accept crypto payments: A new partnership between cryptocurrency exchange Crypto MKT and Flow.cl means that over 5,000 stores across Chile now accept cryptocurrency payments.

The deal was signed between these two service companies allows cryptocurrency payments to be added to payment types on Flow.cl’s online payments platform. Store owners will receive money in fiat money and the transaction rates are some of the lowest in the country.

According to an official translation: “There is a guarantee fund that allows the payment is not affected by large increases or decreases in the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Stellar. This gives tranquility and security to the client.”

Venezuela

Petro set to become official currency alongside bolivar: State-owned oil-backed cryptocurrency is set to become officially recognized in Venezuela after President Nicholas Maduro made an announcement confirming its official status will start on Monday next week.

The official dealing in the state cryptocurrency will start when state-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will start using cryptocurrency transactions for payment. Petro will not be the sole national currency anymore and the system will be made to incorporate the additional Petro cryptocurrency in a gradual manner.

Hyperinflation causing further increase in Bitcoin trading: Venezuela’s spiraling inflation issues are producing considerable surges in Bitcoin trading activities in the country.

With IMF recently stating that Venezuela may reach as much as 1 million per cent inflation by December, more and more people are turning to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin to circumnavigate inflation’s vicious cycle. Bitcoin price itself is doubling in 18 days as a result as well.

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The post South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

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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