The Spanish-speaking world sees major cryptocurrency and blockchain developments with Uruguay approving a new bill that could be applied …
The Spanish-speaking world sees major cryptocurrency and blockchain developments with Uruguay approving a new bill that could be applied positively to ICOs, Cuba using crypto to access the global economy and Venezuela finally installing its first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM.
Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph en Español.
Argentinian Bitex stops accepting balance charges in US dollars
Cointelegraph en Español reported on Sept. 12, that the economic crisis in Argentina is now taking its toll on the country’s cryptocurrency operations. The Bitex firm, a blockchain financial services provider, informed its customers that it will stop accepting balance charges in US dollars. It explained:
“We communicate with you to inform you that for reasons beyond Bitex, as of this date, balance charges in US dollars will not be accepted at Bitex Argentina. All transfers in dollars received in Argentina made after this release will be returned to origin with the corresponding charges and taxes discounted. Those users who currently have US Dollars on the platform may request to download the balance and receive them by bank transfer to accounts of their ownership .”
Uruguay approves crowdfunding law that could be applied to ICOs
On Sept. 12, Cointelegraph en Español reported that the government of Uruguay approved a bill to promote entrepreneurship, which will regulate collective financing or crowdfunding platforms, and that could be applied to some ICOs. Lawyer Paula Rodríguez Medalla added:
“Without a doubt, this rule supposes a new legal framework for some ICOs dedicated to collective financing, so it will be essential to be attentive to the regulation that the Central Bank of Uruguay issues on the subject.”
Cuba: The use of crypto is gaining traction and Cubans are turning to BTC to access the global economy
Cointelegraph en Español reported on Sept. 13, that despite the silence of the Cuban government in regards to crypto’s such as Bitcoin, Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to take advantage of online work, make online purchases, as well as to invest and trade.
Cointelegraph further reported that Bitcoin trading is opening new avenues for citizens in communist-run Cuba, which has been financially isolated for years under a United States trade embargo. Without access to debit or credit cards for international use, cryptocurrency-enabled purchases are a welcome opportunity for consumers. In an interview with U.S. News, local resident Jason Sanchez said cryptocurrencies were “opening new doors” for Cubans.
Venezuela finally installs first Bitcoin ATM
Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 13, that Venezuela had installed its first crypto ATM in the city of San Antonio del Táchira. After multiple false starts, the citizens of Venezuela can now find the country’s first Bitcoin ATM in a small convenience store called Viajes e Inversiones HC. The machine supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and Colombian pesos.
Venezuela’s largest bank adds support for Petro
In the meanwhile, Venezuela’s largest bank, the Bank of Venezuela (BDV), reportedly added support for the country’s controversial Petro digital currency. BDV clients recently woke up to a new section in their online banking account dedicated to cryptocurrencies. At present, the crypto wallet only caters to Petro, but as the section appears to be still under development, speculation suggests more tokens could follow.
As always, Cointelegraph advises readers to approach news related to the Petro with skepticism, as the Venezuelan government has a history of deception when it comes to the state-run, oil-pegged crypto.
Following the installation, people can now access several cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Pesos and bolivars, the official …
Trying to counter inflation with its own cryptocurrency, Venezuela has been promoting its stablecoin Petro, for quite sometime now. Although the government encourages locals to adopt Petro more than any other cryptocurrency, an alternative solution to inflation, bitcoin, has been made accessible. Now, Venezuelans can easily buy bitcoin with the help of the country’s first-ever bitcoin ATM, installed in San Antonio del Táchira.
The American firm Panda BTM, installed the ATM in a convenient store, named ‘Viajes e Inversiones HC’, located in the city. Following the installation, people can now access several cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Pesos and bolivars, the official currency of Venezuela.
The nearest bitcoin ATM available to locals is across the Columbian border. As the ATM across the border was only convenient for people living nearby, the bitcoin ATM set by Panda BTM has substantially facilitated Venezuelans.
In the past, several attempts were made to install a bitcoin ATM in Venezuela but they all went in vain. The company Cryptobuyer, planned to install bitcoin ATM in the city of Caracas however, due to unknown reasons the company was unable to implement its plan.
While Venezuela just had its first bitcoin ATM, its immediate neighbor, Columbia, is expanding the network of bitcoin ATMs as well and at present, Columbia has the largest number of bitcoin ATMs installed. A few weeks ago, Paxful joined forces with CoinLogiq to expand the network of bitcoin ATMs. Consequently, 20 new bitcoin ATMs will be installed in Columbia.
Venezuelan official currency bolivars depreciated to great extents and the country has been facing severe economic crisis. Under these circumstances, the bitcoin adoption is booming and a few months ago, bitcoin trading in the country reached a new high.
Bitcoin was introduced to the world over a decade ago, after the economic recession of 2008. Since then, the world’s first cryptocurrency disrupted the financial system of the world. Unlike fiat currencies that are controlled by governments and central banks, bitcoin is the world’s truly decentralized digital currency. This means that the crypto is not under the influence of any centralized authority or organization. Unlike fiat currencies that can be manipulated by governments, bitcoin price is dependent only on the fundamentals of supply and demand.
Although bitcoin offers a variety of advantages over Petro, the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro is focused on promoting nations own cryptocurrency, Petro. and previously, Maduro asked banks to support the initiative. Furthermore, he even ordered the Bank of Venezuela (Banco de Venezuela) to accept the national cryptocurrency.
In the past, U.S. put sanctions on Venezuela and prohibited all Americans from using Petro while making financial settlements. U.S authorities believed that Venezuela was trying to evade sanctions with Petro took therefore, they took necessary steps to null and void the crypto. However, as bitcoin do not belong to any country, company or organization, authorities were unable to take any similar steps against bitcoin. This shows that the state’s own crypto can’t compete with the world’s decentralized and largest cryptocurrency by market cap, bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s decentralized trait makes it more favorable than Petro but the volatile nature of bitcoin can’t be ignored. Bitcoin has been struggling to evolve as a medium of exchange due to bitcoin price, since its inception. The digital asset climbing to its all-time high at one instant, has a rapport to drop down to the ground in a in a very short period of time. Therefore, one downside of bitcoin is its extremely unpredictable nature.
Developments in the crypto space are ongoing on a daily basis while also paving way for mass crypto adoption. Recently, a crypto ATM startup, Coinme secured $1.5 million investment for growth and expansion of its network of crypto ATMs. The concentration of bitcoin ATMs varies from country to country but the U.S. has about 2600 ATMs, whereas Venezuela recently managed its first. Let’s see if companies like Coinme can open more bitcoin ATMs in countries like Venezuela to ease crypto access.
… according to experts, the establishment is beginning to see the benefits of mainstream coins like bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS and bitcoin cash.
It looks like some people (or entities) can change their minds after all. Despite a mixed relationship with cryptocurrency in the past, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) appears to finally be easing up to it.
Is China Becoming “Friendlier?”
As China’s central bank, the financial institution is looking to release its own digital currency in the future. This is not the same digital currency that China had initially announced weeks ago as a means of combating Libra. This would be an entirely separate entity, as according to experts, the establishment is beginning to see the benefits of mainstream coins like bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS and bitcoin cash.
This should come as relatively surprising news given that China has not always been kind (or fair) to digital currencies. The country has initiated a full ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and foreign exchanges and is even considering a full ban of cryptocurrency mining, though the country has been slow to act on this.
Kevin Sekniqi, co-founder and chief protocol architect at AVA Labs, says:
China’s foray into digitizing the yuan is a key milestone in changing how money is represented, stored and moved. Global sovereign level adoption of digitized assets is a testament to how transformative and impactful decentralized ledger networks have become… Coupled with the fact that China has completely adopted digital payment technologies, we can hope that a digital currency issued by the PBOC will further augment China’s ability to build many new financial primitives.
Dave Hodgson, director and co-founder of NEM Ventures, seems to agree with Sekniqi, though he’s critical of the centralized nature of the bank’s new digital currency, commenting that this goes against everything crypto is all about. He states:
It’s positive to see the Chinese Central Bank engaging with digital financial services and moving towards a better user experience for its citizens, but the proposed approached is still a centralized system, run by a national government… This wouldn’t be considered a decentralized cryptocurrency and in the People’s Bank of China’s words, ‘It is to protect our monetary sovereignty’ – a pseudonym for control over currency… I believe that this move will likely disrupt other digital currencies in China, such as WeChat and Alipay. While other governments may take note and follow suit, this currency doesn’t appear to be cross-border and is centrally controlled, which makes it a different proposition to cryptocurrency altogether.
Many Banks Will Do the Same Thing
Tomer Afek, CEO and co-founder of Spacemesh, says that other banks are likely to copy the work of China’s Central Bank, which could lead to a world of multiple cryptocurrencies:
Cryptocurrencies are a necessary evolution – and revolution…I envision a world where multiple cryptocurrencies exist, each one serving a different need. The central banks will become another set of competitors and service providers in this system.
There’s a small team of committed researchers and activists called the Ryver Bitcoin Cash group surveying Venezuelans, and giving them educational …
There’s a small team of committed researchers and activists called the Ryver Bitcoin Cash group surveying Venezuelans, and giving them educational resources about the benefits of bitcoin cash. The Venezuelan country has been suffering from rapid inflation and many people distrust the sovereign bolivar. Unfortunately, most Venezuelans are not getting any exposure to digital currency use cases, and according to Ryver’s community manager, Sofia Corona, some people spreading the crypto message are doing it all wrong.
88% of Venezuelan Respondents Don’t Trust Their Currency
This week news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Sofia Corona, the community manager of a Ryver Bitcoin Cash group. Sofia lives in Bogata, Colombia and was attracted to the project because “South American countries have a lot of problems.” The Venezuelan people have been dealing with extreme hyperinflation and central planners have destroyed the economy. Sofia joined the group because of the “bad decisions made by governments” and the team’s work is a form of independence for her.
The group has been surveying 100 or more Venezuelan citizens on a weekly basis and asking them all sorts of questions. “I studied in Venezuela and emigrated from there,” Sofia told our newsdesk. “We started the survey because it is the best research strategy and you can share information shoulder to shoulder with the people and face to face.” So far, news.Bitcoin.com has seen two weeks’ worth of survey responses from 100-150 people living in Venezuela and dealing with hyperinflation.
The first week’s survey was comprised of 100 Venezuelan citizens, surveyed by Sofia and the other team leaders Mr. Tank, Jena, and Jorge. The group visited malls and stores with a lot of foot traffic, specifically in Puerto la Cruz, Maturin, Guayana and Venezuela’s gold mining zones. Survey one shows the “participants do not currently rely on the national circulation currency (bolivar) as a method of savings and investment.”
“This situation is caused by high levels of exposure inflation, which causes rapid loss of consumer purchasing power — In the face of this reality Bitcoin Cash emerges as a necessary alternative, at a time when the country opens the doors to the legalization of cryptocurrencies, an option that would allow supporting the wages and economic assets of the citizens of this country,” the report details. Additionally, out of the first 100 people surveyed, 68% did not know of the existence of cryptocurrencies, while 32% felt they did. A staggering 88% of respondents replied that they do not trust the bolivar.
Inflation and Gold Dealers
Sofia remarked that when people explained they did not trust the bolivar, they smiled when asked about it. “Last year the government printed new cash money — This year nobody can use it or accept it because of inflation and low salaries,” she explained. Sofia also spoke about some pictures she shared of Venezuelans waiting as long as six hours to withdraw 20,000 bolivares cash ($0.94). “The banks have limited the people with restricted amounts by day and they do not have enough printed money to deliver to people, so the lines are huge and people waste a lot of time there,” Sofia, said, adding:
They want this money to pay for bus tickets or sell to miners or the mafia — The mafia will pay you 100% value of cash money — Cash money is scarce.
In Venezuela, gold dealers from the mines run rampant in congested areas like shopping centers. Sofia said there are a lot of gold dealers and they are “everywhere and they have the control of the authorities and cash money.” After hearing about the gold dealers, news.Bitcoin.com asked the Ryver group community manager why her team thinks most Venezuelans are not getting exposure to digital currencies.
The Wrong Strategy
“The Ryver team thinks that the South American strategies to spread cryptocurrency have been wrong so far,” Sofia insisted. “Some spreaders here act like supreme people or want to share this technology like it’s the first world. We have contacted people and specialists to do some live talk forums or activities with people and they have very high costs to share the message. So we took it upon ourselves to go to the streets and talk with the people.” Sofia further stated:
Many of these specialists want to copy strategies used in first world events in this region and have another heritage. We need to resolve simple problems, not have amazing events or restrict some people because they think different, we need it so people can feel the power in their hands. Do not make people feel like you are the owner of the brand or the message.
Sofia continued by explaining that people should educate before giving Venezuelans something they don’t know how to use. “Listen to people’s needs, and try to do things with simple terms — They do not want to know how big BCH blocks are, they want something else besides bad government decisions and bank interest.”
“Share the economic freedom and take the lead by providing them with the knowledge to make their own decisions about the money,” the community manager added. “You can share rocket science with people but it no makes sense if you do not teach them how to turn the power on.”
Sofia also told our newsdesk about the usage of the Venezuelan government’s Petro network as we’ve heard reports from Sunacrip (the Petro’s regulator) that the state-issued crypto is popular. She says that the positive Petro headlines and stories are only for “promotional” purposes. “Nobody uses the petro and only people close with government use it to skip out on U.S. sanctions — Sunacrip is really only for miners — they have installed crypto point-of-sale (POS) systems around some stores, but the POS only accepts bitcoin, litecoin, and BNB, so if you have petros, you need to exchange that,” Sofia asserted.
Genuine Ideas and Helping People Take Control of Their Destiny
Sofia has talked to a lot of people and living in Bogota she’s seen refugees from Venezuela crossing the Simon Bolivar International Bridge daily for goods and services. The community manager said the team is also aware of other projects in Venezuela like nonprofit food drive @eatbch_VE. “They [@eatbch] are a genuine idea and supporters of BCH and we like that we can share their actions, the people need food to think, and to be educated to make their own decisions,” Sofia said.
Following a long discussion with Sofia, she explained what drives her to do what she does. “I believe that we can do something to help the people that have their families far away,” Sofia concluded. “I believe that we can try to build a new way to do things, I believe that the people can take the lead of their destiny, and I will try to help them.”
What do you think about what the Ryver Bitcoin Cash group is doing and Sofia’s efforts? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Sofia Corona, the Ryver Bitcoin Cash group, Twitter, and Pixabay.
Venezuela.bitcoin.com is also making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering Bitcoin Cash merchant adoption in Venezuela.
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Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
eToroX is the blockchain arm of the global investment platform, eToro … the trading company has been granted the Distributed Ledger Technology …
History of eToroX
When the innovative idea materialized into a useable concept, it began as RetailFX and was initially found in Tel Aviv, Israel. The idea was brought into fruition by two brothers who then set up offices all around the globe, including Tel Aviv, UK, Cyprus, Australia and even China.
Established in Gibraltar, one of the most renowned licensing countries in the world, the trading company has been granted the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) necessary to trade in cryptocurrencies. Legitimate trading companies need DLT to deliver accurate and precise trading information. This license agreement is distributed by the GFSC, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, one of the leading licensing services in the world.
Accepted eToroX Trading Currencies
Having only been recently developed, one would think eToroX doesn’t offer a whole selection of accepted currencies, but contrary to their recent developments, the brand offers over 71 acceptable currencies, including:
In addition to crypto-assets, there are several accepted fiat (cash) currencies, including USD and Forex. eToroX also offers several tokenized assets and was one of the first of the few to introduce the trading of gold and silver. The newest addition stands out and attracts many traders with a unique and keen eye for profiting on investments.
How to Open an Account
If you want to create an account to expand your investment opportunities, eToroX provides a simple way of doing so. All that is required is an email address and password, and then the mandatory verification process referred to as ‘KYC’ (Know Your Customer). This aids in the system understanding the attracted user and how to target more users with common trading preferences.
Another means of registration, tailored for already existing eToro members, requires only existing eToro credentials.
The Long Term Goal
The company aims to offer its services to more digitally inclined traders offering a number of features, and has created one of the most dynamic trading platforms.
Being platformed and showcased as a web-based company, security is naturally an important issue. eToroX uses a two-way authentication protocol, an identifying system used to prove who the user is and validate the online session. In addition to the incredibly safe and secure means of transferring data, there is an encryption technology that prevents any fraudulent activity and surveillance. If that still isn’t comforting enough, there is military-grade protection service ensuring users of safety and security.
The Trading Options
There are 71 pairing options, 18digital currencies, digital asset commodities and a legitimized fee system which ranges from as little as 0.03% for market makers and 0.12% for the market takers.
One of the biggest advantages of trading using eToroX is the structured and expert team of customer support professionals. Any issues will be addressed and there are numerous ways to contact them as listed below:
Not only does the ‘Help’ section aid in helping users determine how to trade, but it also gives a more descriptive understanding of blockchain technology.
While the user interface has been as expertly executed as its comprehensive nature, users may find its clean and sleek look even more appealing. Navigate your way through each page for an accurate and decisive investment, created for each specific need of all eToroX users.
For those familiar with Tradingview API, the charts have been based on the design, giving the platform a familiar feel. For those familiar with crypto trading, the charts are easily decipherable. For the newer trader, the UI is clear, encouraging user to reach new heights and explore trading options.
Deposits and Withdrawals
There are no fees required to make a deposit at ToroX, although there are when making a withdrawal. These fees are necessary to cover banking costs and are stipulated on the site for a more comprehensive understanding when opting for a payout method.
eToroX is far ahead of its time, delivering one of the most outstanding and innovative services for digitally inclined traders. The safe and secure trading company is authentically licensed and serves the multipurpose functionality of creating profits for adapted users.