South American Countries are Proving Themselves to be Pioneers in the World of Blockchain

RSK Labs in Argentina has created a smart-contract platform connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. They raised $3.5 million in Series A funding in 2017.

Blockchain technology is disrupting Latin America’s private and public sector. The fintech is slowly shaping the economically paralyzed South American countries. The companies and start-ups based in this region have been quick to grasp the importance of the Blockchain and are experimenting with the technology across industries.

Years of economic instability across the region have forced the working class as well as the wealthy, to seek out new ways to safeguard their savings from cyclical inflations and currency controls. Hence, these new types of currencies offer them a logical alternative to the national currencies. They allow the economically weak citizens to get around the regulatory guidelines of the central banks, which have been denying them access to essential financial services like digital payments, money transfers, consumer lending, and individual investing. Cryptocurrency and the Digital wallets allow them to participate in the myriad of digital services available, from consumer loans to secure peer-to-peer payments.

Venezuela and Brazil witnessed 1000 percent and 450 percent rise in cryptocurrency transactions, respectively in 2017. Argentina saw an increase of 625% in the same year. The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is included in the top ten cities with the strongest bitcoin presence.

Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile are presently the hotbeds for crypto and blockchain start-ups. They boast of a well-developed blockchain ecosystem to transform the region’s private sector and could reshape the industries and redefine services.

RSK Labs in Argentina has created a smart-contract platform connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. They raised $3.5 million in Series A funding in 2017. The company has partnered with the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) to offer a blockchain curriculum.

In Brazil, crypto brokers ‘Bitcoin to You’ and Foxbit are managing a major portion of the exchanges for the country’s 1.4 million crypto exchange users. The Brazilian government is planning to use blockchain to control corruption and improve the financial infrastructure.

In Mexico, 80 million people are reported to lack access to essential banking services, but the Mexican exchange Bitso has 500,000 users. Many industries based in the country are experimenting with the blockchain to tackle inefficiencies inherent in the political and economic system.

Colombian start-up Project Cycle has designed blockchain-based tools to allow homeowners to earn crypto tokens for sharing surplus energy with communities in need. The second largest bank in the country, Bancolombia, has been working on open-source blockchain-based platforms and protocols since 2015.

The General Treasury of the Republic of Chile which manages the tax collection had announced their decision to launch a blockchain project to modernize its processes and enhance the path of the nation’s digital transformation.

As most of the wealthier nations are still doubting over the technology, these South American countries are leading the way and are proving themselves pioneers in the world of the blockchain.

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HSBC leans on blockchain tech to process $250bn worth of fx transactions

Global bank HSBC has processed more than 3 million foreign exchange (fx) transactions using blockchain technology. According to a report, the …

Global bank HSBC has processed more than 3 million foreign exchange (fx) transactions using blockchain technology.

According to a report, the transactions, completed over the past year, were worth $250bn.

If previous statements are anything to go by, HSBC likely used a permissioned (aka private) blockchain to carry out the transaction. Private blockchains are typically preferred by regulated financial entities such as HSBC because they provide a workaround the fact that the anonymity of participants is not acceptable in mainstream finance.

To put this into perspective, HSBC is one of the largest financial services organizations in the world.

It has 7,500 offices in more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.

With this in mind, it’s fair to say that the amount of fx transactions completed using blockchain tech pales in significance when compared to the bank’s overall trading volume.

Banking on the blockchain

By combining shared databases, blockchain technology enables multiple parties to have simultaneous access to a digital ledger which is updated in real-time and cannot be tampered with, enabling institutions such as banks to save money and maximize efficiency – especially when it comes to the settlement and clearing of trades.

Banks – and other mainstream financial firms – have long been skeptical about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but have historically taken a different attitude when it comes to the technology underpinning it.

For example, HSBC made headlines in May last year when it partnered with ING bank and announced that it had executed a live trade financial transaction for Cargill (an international food and agriculture conglomerate) using R3’s Corda blockchain platform.

At the time, the transaction involved a shipment of Argentine soybeans, through Cargill’s trading arm in Geneva, to its Singapore subsidiary.

Most significantly, the transaction arguably helped to prove blockchain’s viability in a commercial environment.

A statement issued by HSBC noted how conventional exchanges for paper-based documents typically took around 5-10 days.The blockchain-based exchange, however, was completed in 24 hours.

Published January 14, 2019 — 17:56 UTC

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Blockchain Companies in China Will Soon Face Wide-Reaching Censorship

Blockchain firms in China will soon be working under new regulations designed to keep them in check. Beginning on February 15, new rules will force …

Blockchain firms in China will soon be working under new regulations designed to keep them in check. Beginning on February 15, new rules will force blockchain companies to register their domain names and server addresses with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). These regulations will not just be used to track blockchain firms; they will also be used to control blockchain content.

Although the regulations are fairly wide in scope, they will primarily prohibit blockchain companies from disseminating information that violates China’s content laws. It seems that the new regulations are not intended to control the content of various blockchains directly, which would be a monumental task. Instead, the regulations are targeting firms that provide unapproved blockchain services, adding another brick to the Great Firewall of China.

The targets of the new regulations seem to be access providers, such as websites and applications. However, node operators, who are responsible for powering blockchains, are mentioned in the regulations as well. Non-compliance will carry a fine of 5000-30,000 yuan ($737-$4420 USD), meaning that the law may only discourage unapproved blockchain activity, not stop it outright.

China has previously taken harsh stances against cryptocurrency: the country has cracked down on ICOs, exchanges, and mining in the past. Some locales have even gone as far as to shut down promotional events. However, investors seem to be bypassing restrictions, and blockchain startups that divert their focus away from crypto seem to fare well–making Chinese regulations something of a mixed bag.

Most of China’s previous bans have had primarily financial motives. This law, however, is an explicitly content-focused policy that is in line with China’s broader censorship. Some blockchain platforms, such as Substratum, are specifically trying to bypass censorship by providing a VPN alternative. Other blockchains such as Ethereum can simply be used to host prohibited content, meaning that blockchain tech may pose a wide-ranging threat to China’s authority.

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Lee Kim Yew’s private firm ropes in Crypto S11 Digital for crypto wallet venture

“Without demonstrating this cryptocurrency wallet, no one will know how this will benefit the subscribers and the market. Hence, I am investing in this …

SERI KEMBANGAN (Jan 9): Mines 567 Sdn Bhd, a private investment firm wholly-owned by businessman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, has partnered Crypto S11 Digital Pte Ltd to commence the beta testing of Unicorn Wallet, a cryptocurrency wallet aimed to provide seamless payment transactions.

Under the beta testing period, the e-wallet will undergo testing among a select group of users over a period of six months, before it is made available to the public.

Mines 567 said it welcomes the participation of government authorities and regulators in the testing period.

At an event held earlier today, Lee, who is also the founder and chairman of Country Heights Holdings Bhd, reiterated his confidence in blockchain technology and said the investment in a cryptocurrency wallet is an important step to develop the blockchain industry in Malaysia.

“Without demonstrating this cryptocurrency wallet, no one will know how this will benefit the subscribers and the market. Hence, I am investing in this technology and associating myself with Crypto S11 Digital, a company which shares my vision and hopes to eventually develop a blockchain bank to complete the whole ecosystem,” he said.

Mines 567 owns 19.99% of the British Virgin Islands-incorporated Crypto S11 Digital.

“We will work closely with the authorities to ensure Malaysia can ride the tide of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to spur the economy into new heights,” added Lee.

The Unicorn Wallet, which aims to be the AliPay of the blockchain world, supports real-time payments of online purchases, hotel bookings, bills, peer-to-peer transactions and a digital asset exchange.

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Yes, Samsung is considering a crypto wallet

… popular Samsung reporting site, SamMobile, revealing that a cryptocurrency wallet could be included in the company’s upcoming S10 smartphone.

About a month ago, it was revealed that Samsung had filed for several trademarks with the European Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) tied to blockchain-based phrases, including “Blockchain Core,” “Blockchain Keystore” and “Blockchain key box.” These trademarks got the rumor mills running in overdrive, leading to a popular Samsung reporting site, SamMobile, revealing that a cryptocurrency wallet could be included in the company’s upcoming S10 smartphone. Samsung later refuted that the S10 would provide a crypto wallet, but the tech giant definitely has some type of plan for a crypto offering up its sleeve. What that plan might be, or when it might be made available, though, still remain a mystery.

In its latest crypto-related move, filed in the middle of last month, Samsung has registered for a trademark with the Intellectual Property Office in the UK for the term “Samsung Crypto Wallet.” As the name suggests, and the trademark application confirms, the underlying system includes an application that would allow for the storage and exchange of digital assets. The application reads, “Smartphones; Tablet computers; Portable computers; Mobile telephones; Computer software; Computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; Computer software for cryptocurrency transfer and payment using blockchain technology; Computer application software for smartphones, namely, software to allow users to transfer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and pay via 3rd party’s application software.”

Samsung is entering a market that currently only has a few players. Sirin Labs recently launched its “Finney” crypto smartphone, which contains a built-in cold storage wallet, a conversion service and a decentralized app (Dapp) marketplace. It was officially launched at the beginning of December with a price tag of around $999 and is reportedly going to be offered through Amazon this month, but that has not yet been confirmed.

Smartphone manufacturer HTC is also working on its own version of a blockchain-based phone, The Exodus 1. It has started to ship in limited quantities, at around $950, and offers a crypto wallet like the Finney, but the reviews have so far been less than impressive. One reviewer wasn’t even able to get it to connect to a network. If Samsung is able to get a crypto phone to market soon, it would almost certainly take control of the crypto smartphone industry.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BSV is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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