Inside The World’s Anti-Crypto Countries: South America

Following the arrests, the ASFI reiterated its belief that digital currencies are nothing but illegal pyramid schemes. Despite the grim situation, the …

This article is part of a series on governments with an anti-crypto stance.

Like other regions in the world, South America welcomed the cryptocurrency revolution, granted the large percentage of unbanked individuals, and opportunities offered by digital assets. While most countries in the region are either neutral, or positive towards the emergence of the crypto market, some have chosen a more aggressive stance. In this article, we will conduct a case study, analysing the situation in two countries that have positioned themselves as anti-crypto: Bolivia and Ecuador.

The crypto situation in Bolivia

Here, the crypto market was affectedby a decision announced by the El Banco Central de Bolivia, which is the nation’scentral bank. Back in 2014, when bitcoin started gaining more media coverage,the central bank announced its decision to ban all currencies that were notissued or regulated by a government. The list of forbidden digital assetsincluded bitcoin, alongside other altcoins like PeerCoin or NameCoin.

The statement responsible for theban read: “It is illegal to use any kindof currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorizedentity.”The Boliviancentral bank quickly backed its decision through a few arguments. According tothem, the motivation lays in doing everything in their power to protect thecountry’s national currency – the boliviano. Secondly, the bank stated that uncontrolledcurrencies can have unprecedented effects, thus causing users to lose theirmoney.

Following the announcement, members of the financial community quickly reacted, stating that the decision was unwise granted that Bolivia is one of the poorest Latin American countries. Thus, banning bitcoin would reduce development and innovation of the fintech market there. Reports that emerged in 2017 showcase that the Bolivian government is relatively serious about imposing its ban. With this in mind, the country’s Financial System Supervision Authority (ASFI) reportedly arrested 60 people for promoting bitcoin investments.

According to the ASFI, “ee confiscated pamphlets relating to business schemes that go around giving training and making business plans regarding virtual currencies that are operating abroad. The Bolivian population should not be fooled. It should not participate in closed crypto groups through WhatsApp. The only thing they are doing is taking advantage of the population, deceiving the people to appropriate their money.”

Following the arrests, the ASFI reiterated its belief that digital currencies are nothing but illegal pyramid schemes. Despite the grim situation, the Bolivian government cannot control private cryptocurrency use, such as trading crypto-for-crypto. So far, no plans to positively regulate the industries have been announced.

The crypto situation in Ecuador

The situationis Ecuador is quite interesting, given the motivation behind the reportedcryptocurrency ban. To put thingsbetter into perspective, back in 2014, the country’s National Assembly decided toimpose a ban against digital currencies, through a reform of its financiallaws. As such, buying, selling, and using digital assets became illegal. Violatingthe amendments would lead to a penal sanction, followed by the confiscation ofthe assets in question. However, the ban was imposed in favour of Ecuador’svery own digital cash system.

Thus, Ecuadorbecame one of the world’s first countries to work on its own central bankdigital currency. According to its National Assembly, “Digital money willstimulate the economy; it will be possible to attract more Ecuadorian citizens,especially those who do not have checking or savings accounts and credit cardsalone. The digital currency will be backed by the assets of the Central Bank ofEcuador.”

The Ecuadorian central bank later talked about the benefits associated with this system. According to them, the digital cash system would reduce transaction and monetary issuance costs, while also providing citizens with an easier method of sending money digitally, via their smartphones. Controversies were quick to appear. A popular one mentioned that the CBDC’s purpose was to allow the country’s central bank to issue new currency that wouldn’t be tied to the United States dollar reserves, as per international regulations. So far, it is unclear to what extent the bitcoin ban is respected, and whether the digital cash system is actually a popular payment option used by the citizens.

Disclaimer: If you are looking to conduct digital currency-related activities in China, it is best to thoroughly check the updated applicable laws. Do not take the information presented in this article as advice.

Featured Image via BigStock.

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eTranzact gets shareholders’ nod to raise authorised share capital to N9.1bn

… the need of the Company to expand its operations, deepen its market share and to remain competitive in the financial technology industry.

By Perter Egwuatu

ETRANZACT International Plc has got the express approval of shareholders of the company to raise its authorised share capital from N2.1billion to N9.1 billion.

Stock Market

Naira loses marginally against dollar, now N361 to $1

The capital raise proposal of N7 billion was tabled by the Mr. Wole Abegunde, Chairman of eTranzact, at an Extraordinary General Meeting, EGM, of the company held in Lagos. He stated that the decision to raise additional capital became imperative considering the need of the Company to expand its operations, deepen its market share and to remain competitive in the financial technology industry.

According to Mr. Abegunde, the capital to be raised will be used to upgrade and enhance the Company’s technology infrastructure and network security systems and also to improve on its service delivery. He further stated that the company will also invest in its Agent Network Expansion Program, Human Resources and Employee Development.

Also, speaking with journalists at the EGM, the Managing Director/CEO of eTranzact, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope, believes that the injection of additional equity will enable the company’s management to strategically maintain the company leading position as a key market leader within the electronic payment industry.

Toluwalope affirmed that eTranzact will acquire state-of-the-art infrastructure, ensure that the company retains the best skill set available, achieve a fast response rate, reduce downtime, and expands its service offerings and market reach.

Founded in September 2003, eTranzact is Nigeria’s first award winning, multi-application and multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing platform. It has evolved into a brand with global reach with operations in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, with expansion inclination to more countries in the world.

Since inception, eTranzact has deployed mobile payment solutions to banks, non-bank financial institutions and was recently granted license by the CBN to provide Mobile Money services to individuals with a special focus on the unbanked.


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Optimise Retail Experiences with SAP

Retail experts agree that in 2019, the market will be defined by emerging technologies that change the way consumers interact with their favourite …

Judith Magyar, Director of Strategic Content Development at SAP, discusses five major ways to improve retail experiences.

Technologyand Retail Experiences

This year’s National Retail Federation Big Show brought togetherover 37,000 retail professionals and vendors from almost 100 countries toexplore retail experiences. Retailers attend to understand the trends and getthe latest on the best technology. With technology that enables instantengagement and changing consumer values and behaviour, retail companies areexperiencing relentless disruption. Dealing with that disruption is what drivesretailers and tech companies to attend the National Retail Federation’s (NRF)annual industry event.

Retail experts agree that in 2019, the market will be defined by emerging technologies that change the way consumers interact with their favourite brands and a shift in consumer behaviour.

SAP and Current Trends

SAP has createdfive end-to-end retail scenarios to illustrate ways to improve retail experiencesbased on current trends:

  • Experiences You Can Trust: No more wrong orders, shipping nightmares, and chaotic customer data. Let SAP help you rethink your business model and apply emerging technologies like blockchain, machine learning, and robotics for seamless customer engagement
  • Best-Run Beauty and the Augmented Reality Experience: Being a best-run business will help you fix those problems. It will also help you monitor costs, analyse your data, and make better decisions. Learn how SAP’s end-to-end story will bring more value to your business
  • Experience the Connected Store: Customers are willing to pay more for positive retail experiences. SAP has re-engineered applications so you can seamlessly respond to customer need both online or in store. SAP C/4HANA, SAP Leonardo, and KeyTree can help you master inventory challenges with the help of an augmented store assistant.
  • Experience SAP and Google Cloud: Your assortment plan needs to be in good shape if you want to maximize sales and profit for specific periods of time. Find out how you can leverage the Google Shopping Platform and your warehouse robots to get your initial purchase quantities right to ensure a steady allocation process over time.
  • Experience the SAP Solution Zone:Intelligent enterprises effectively use their data assets to achieve desired outcomes faster and with less risk. To become intelligent, your enterprise needs an intelligent suite to run processes efficiently, intelligent technologies to create new revenue streams and better experiences, and a digital platform to turn your data into gold. In the SAP Solution Zone you can see how intelligent enterprises run in several key areas, including merchandising, supply chain, in store, the customer experience, mid-market commerce, innovations, and the SAP fashion labs.

The Takeaway for Retailers

The shift in brands being more of a culture than a product has been building steadily as millennial consumers are buying based on corporate responsibility and social impact. This means retailers must respond to demands for more ethical business practices, more sustainable supply chains, and less negative environmental impact. At the same time, they must provide a seamless, expedited, and engaging retail experiences that allows clients to interact with their brand in creative ways.

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Two South Korean Executives of Komid Exchange Were Sentenced to Jail for Faking Trade Volumes

As mentioned earlier, the two executives working for South Korean crypto … “This is the first time a representative of a virtual currency exchange has …
Two South Korean Executives of Komid Exchange Were Sentenced to Jail for Faking Trade Volumes

In a major blow for the global crypto sector, two executives working for an established cryptocurrency exchange called ‘Komid’ have reportedly been sentenced to jail for “purposely inflating trade volumes” through the use of digital bots and fake financial accounts.

A Closer Look at the Matter

As mentioned earlier, the two executives working for South Korean crypto exchange ‘Komid’ have already been sentenced to jail for participating in a couple of fraudulent activities.

One of accused persons is Choi Hyunsuk, the CEO of Komid while the other individual’s identity has not yet been revealed by the police. Hyunsuk has received a “three-year prison sentence while the other executive will be facing a term of at least two-years”.

In this regard, a local news outlet was quoted as saying:

“This is the first time a representative of a virtual currency exchange has been sentenced to prison for allegedly inflating trading volumes.”

For those of our readers who may not be aware, Komid started operations around a year back after completing all of its initial beta test runs. As per a statement released by local court authorities,

“Choi created more than five fake accounts last year through which he purposely inflated trading volumes using digital currencies as well as the Korean won” (on his exchange).

Yesterday, News Asia also ran a similar story and stated the following in their report:

“The charges from prosecutors outlined a scheme wherein the two defendants fabricated 5 million transactions on their platform to deceive investors into thinking that the volume was natural. This led to the two earning about $45mil. There is also a suspicion that they utilized a ‘bot’ to automatically create large orders, which attracted new users.”

How Will This Case Affect Investor Sentiment Worldwide?

In relation to the matter, the judge who presided over Choi’s case was quoted as saying that Hyunsuk had “defrauded countess victims” and there was a clear need for doling out punishment as soon as possible.

However, the judge did take into account the fact that the guilty parties had returned some of the swindled money and thus their intentions were not completely malignant.

He then went on to state:

“The crime has damaged customers’ confidence in the virtual currency exchange and has had a negative effect on the domestic virtual currency trading market.”

Final Take

Over the course of the past couple of years, quite a few cryptocurrency exchanges have been mired in scandals related to the use of trading bots (for falsify orders). For example, late last year, some of the folks over at UpBit were indicted for fraud.

It was being alleged that a few executives working for the firm had “faked orders worth approximately $226 billion and sold 11,500 BTC to around 26,000 investors”.

Similarly, people working for Coinnest and HTS Coin too have recently been involved in matters related to monetary fraud and embezzlement.

Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: Binance Coin, Cardano, IOTA, Neo, Tron

We believe that digital currencies will make their presence felt because they are likely at the end of their year-long bear market. According to Binance …

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Bitcoin (BTC) has proven to be in high demand among citizens of smaller nations like Venezuela, whose economic conditions have been adversely affecting their fiat currencies.

Now, cryptocurrencies will face another test with the impending Brexit deal. If the United Kingdom is forced to leave the European Union without a deal, experts believe that the pound will be hit hard, and might lose up to a quarter of its value.

With such uncertainty, will the market participants turn towards cryptocurrencies as an alternative source of investment or stick to the classical investment vehicles? We believe that digital currencies will make their presence felt because they are likely at the end of their year-long bear market. According to Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao, their new Jersey-based trading platform has witnessed a huge demand.

CNBC contributor Brian Kelly expects cryptocurrencies to do well in 2019. Geopolitical tension in the world can boost the demand for digital currencies as the investors look to hedge their positions. However, Kelly doesn’t anticipate an approval for Bitcoin ETF this year.


Binance was the top performer among the major coins. The news of the launch of Binance Jersey, a fiat-to-crypto exchange for U.K, and European customers, was cheered by the investors. The company plans to capitalize on the uncertainty regarding Brexit and wants to offer the people an opportunity to diversify into cryptocurrencies. Binance also completed its 6th quarterly BNB token burn, roughly equivalent to $9.4 million. So, will its outperformance continue? Let’s find out.



The BNB/USD pair is attempting to breakout of the resistance line of the descending channel. For the past four weeks, the bulls have defended the first support at $5.46666. Therefore, we anticipate another attempt to breakout of the channel within the next couple of weeks.

A breakout of the channel will start a new uptrend that can carry the virtual currency to $15, with a minor resistance at $12. The traders can buy on a close (UTC time frame) above the channel and keep a stop loss below $5.

Contrary to our opinion, if the bulls fail to breakout of the channel, the bears will try to sink the digital currency below $5.


Cardano developer and CEO of IOHK Charles Hoskinson is excited about the forthcoming Project Shelly update. Cardano wallet “Deadalus” can also prove to be a major event, as it aims to be the most secure crypto wallet with a series of inbuilt protections. While some are confident about the prospects of the cryptocurrency, the critics feel that the developments are moving too slowly.



After an extended downtrend, the ADA/USD pair has been trading inside the range $0.062424-$0.027237 for the past nine weeks. There was a similar attempt to bottom out previously (marked as ellipse on the chart) that resulted in a breakdown. That consolidation had also lasted for nine weeks before breaking down of it.

If the bears breakdown of the current range, the downtrend will resume. However, if the bulls scale the overhead resistance of $0.062424, we can expect the start of a new uptrend that can reach $0.094256 and above it to $0.2.

As the upside potential is high, traders can wait for a close (UTC time frame) above the range to initiate a long position.


In the new year, IOTA has announced a couple of collaborations that can help it come on top. Though it has not run away, it has managed to close in the green in the past seven days. Can it move up from here and crack into the top 10? Let’s see.



The IOTA/USD pair is currently trading inside a range. After failing to breakout of $0.4037 for four weeks, the bears pushed prices back in the week before. However, lower levels are attracting buying as the bulls try to stage a recovery from close to $0.272 levels.

If the virtual currency rises from the current levels, the bulls will again attempt to breakout from $0.4037. If successful, a rally to $0.6, followed by a move to the next overhead resistance of $0.8152, is probable.

However, if the bears fail to force a turnaround at the current levels, a drop to $0.2051 is likely. If this support breaks, a retest of the critical support of $0.1427 will be on the cards. The downtrend will resume if this level gives way.


NEO Co-Founder Erik Zhang confesses that he doesn’t watch the daily price action of the virtual currency. He is more concerned with its development. According to him, Ethereum might overtake Bitcoin in the future, and Ethereum itself will face competition from cryptocurrencies such as NEO. Can NEO reclaim its footing among the top 10 cryptocurrencies? Let’s find out.



The NEO/USD pair has been trading inside a tight range for the past eight weeks. The attempt by the bulls to scale the range failed in the week before. However, the bears could not push the prices back to the bottom of the range: this shows demand for the digital currency close to $7 level.

We expect the bulls to again attempt to break out of the range. If successful, a rally to $16, followed by a move to $20 is probable.

Contrary to our expectations, if the bears plunge the virtual currency back below the range, the downtrend will resume. As the previous consolidations had resolved to the downside, we suggest traders wait for a close (UTC time frame) above $10 before initiating any long positions.


Tron has slowly but surely cemented its place among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. The markets have cheered the plans to launch BTT token, which will run on the Tron and BitTorrent networks. Its founder, Justin Sun, wants people to think of “Tron” whenever they think of any cryptocurrency.

The company also announced a tie up with ABCC cryptocurrency exchange to list tokens based on Tron’s TRC10 technical standard. However, many developers came out against Tron’s Accelerator contest, as the announcement of winners was delayed and the prize money was slashed at the last moment. What is in store for this cryptocurrency? Let’s find out.



The TRX/USD pair is range bound between $0.0183-$0.02815521. The breakout of this range in the week before could not sustain, and the price fell back into the range. Last week, the bulls again attempted to breakout of the range but found selling at the resistance line of the range at $0.02815521.

If the bulls succeed in pushing the price above the range, a new uptrend is likely. The first target on the upside is $0.04. The traders can buy on a close above the range and keep a stop loss just below $0.021.

If, however, the bears defend the top of the range, a few more weeks of range bound action is likely to continue. The virtual currency will turn negative if the price breaks down of the critical support at $0.0183.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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