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.

Uruguay

Fintech chamber to propose crypto regulations: The Uruguayan chamber of fintech has announced that it is creating a special committee to propose cryptocurrency regulations in the country. The move came after it considered different proposals regarding cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

The chamber founder and former president Sebastian Olivera said on the matter:

“Our focus is on leveraging innovation to help strengthen and develop – and increase transparency in – the financial system, contributing to the fight against the legitimization of assets derived from criminal activities, terrorism or drug-trafficking.”

This is seen as a positive development in the South American country as the central bank and the finance ministry have urged cryptocurrency regulations before. The chamber is also inviting cryptocurrency companies, consultants, entrepreneurs and government officials to participate in drafting the regulations.

Uruguay doesn’t have specific regulations right now for cryptocurrencies and the government is looking to introduce progressive policies to encourage crypto development and discourage money laundering and criminal activities.

Brazil

Central bank unveils blockchain data program for regulators: The Brazilian central bank Banco do Brasil has announced a new blockchain-based data sharing platform for country’s financial regulators.

The platform has been named Pier and will assist the functioning of different professional data exchanges and other entities that the Banco do Brasil oversees. According to a bank representative, the use of blockchain will allow each member of the umbrella to authenticate the source and origin of content. He also said that a proof of concept feature was being developed for this purpose and it was being designed for Ethereum and JP Morgan’s Quorum.

The platform is currently being tested at the department of informatics in the Federal University of Maranhao and that is the place where much of the development took place as well.

While the pro-blockchain stance by Brazil is encouraging, the government there still harbors anti-Bitcoin sentiments and the central bank still is not adopting pro-crypto policies in the country.

Bus companies now accepting Bitcoin: Bus companies in Brazil are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as payments.

Two public transportation companies Viaco Garcia and Brasil Sul belonging to the GBC group have decided to use Bitcoin as means of payment.

Viaco said in a statement, “The group has decided to use Bitcoin as a means of payment because it’s the most popular digital currency, however, we will start accepting Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash later.”

Using Bitcoin to pay for transport fares is easy enough as the client only needs to open his crypto wallet and the scan the QR code on the website for cryptocurrency payments. After choosing the Bitcoin transfer option, a voucher is sent to the user’s email for confirmation as well.

Bitcoin is being more and more accepted in the public because of rising popularity in Brazil and other industries are also reportedly looking at the cryptocurrency as an alternative.

Venezuela

Plan to send millions in Bitcoin to Venezuela revealed: A plan to send millions in Bitcoin to Venezuelans is taking shape according to lead proponent and Bitcoin developer Jonathan Wheeler.

According to Wheeler, the effort is to help people living in financial distress of the magnitude of Venezuela where inflation is in triple digits and people are being incarcerated and deprived of their rights. The government also routinely arrests people trading in cryptocurrencies except for the state’s own Petro cryptocurrency that was launched earlier this year.

Wheeler said in an interview with Coindesk:

“To give it the greatest likelihood of success, it has to be done en masse. We’re trying to make this a large-scale collaborative mission to help people suffering from financial tyranny.”

While Wheeler admits it is a crazy idea, he says that he believes in it and he is determined to see it through.

How Venezuelans are using Bitcoin in their routine lives: The failing Venezuelan economy is proving fertile ground for encouraging citizens to use Bitcoin as an alternative in their lives, according to a report by Coin Insider.

The Venezuelan Bolivar is experiencing triple-digit inflation and even Bitcoin’s volatility pales in comparison Bitcoin’s price index as the currency has lost 98% of its value in the past year alone. Many Venezuelans now see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way out to combat the crippling inflation figures that are forcing the nation to go hungry despite being one of the largest exporters of crude oil in the world.

Venezuelans are using LocalBitcoins as a bank account to store cryptocurrencies and trade them for local currency only when they need to in order to avoid the inflation. Since many Venezuelans have also used foreign currency accounts to avoid inflation before, they have also started using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that are traded in popular fiat currencies and if the USD becomes dearer, so will the cryptocurrency.

Argentina

Shrinking economy moving Argentinians to Bitcoin: The Argentinian economy has shrunk by 0.9% and is resulting in an increased interest in cryptocurrencies.

Argentina suffered one of the worst droughts in recent years and its exports like soy meal and soy oil were hit after millions of tons of crops were destroyed. Since the economy shrunk, many Argentinians are now turning towards cryptocurrencies to avoid future inflation.

 

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