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

Blockchain data sharing platform for regulators revealed: The Brazilian Central Bank Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) has announced a new data sharing platform based on blockchain technology for the country’s financial regulatory bodies.

The platform has been named ‘Pier’ and BCB believes that the new decentralized platform will provide a secure and efficient option to data regulators around the country. It was praised by the BCB for being an immutable blockchain and a horizontal information-sharing system.

While the BCB is pro-blockchain, it is still very much anti-Bitcoin with regulators likening it to a pyramid scheme and a typical bubble because of its volatile nature.

Chile

Total crypto mining energy consumption half of Chile’s total: The total energy consumed in mining is less than earlier estimates, according to a new study from Coinshares Research. The study found that the Bitcoin network on 21 May 2018 consumed around 35 TWh or 0.14% of the total global capacity or half of the total consumption of South American country of Chile.

Previous estimates pointed to a bigger consumption statistics with Digiconomist saying it consumed nearly double this amount. Coinshares estimated a spectrum of rig types being used for mining purposes in the Bitcoin network to arrive at its calculation. The study entails complete details of the working of the Bitcoin network and costs associated with it according to the set perimeters. Most of the electricity being used to mine cryptocurrencies is also renewable energy which is helping portray its carbon neutral outlook.

Venezuela

Banks targeted for selling crypto at “speculative prices”: Venezuela’s government is targeting bank accounts associated with cryptocurrencies for selling them at “speculative prices”. The move comes after the government announced that it has started monitoring citizens who are indulging in cryptocurrency-related transactions.

According to Vice President Tarek El Aissami, the government will start monitoring the bank accounts and charge those who are selling crypto at speculative prices. Prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said regarding the action:

“…to take action against individuals and companies that have incurred misappropriation, and dissemination of false information about the exchange rate.”

Bitcoin is often seen as a way of getting around the crippling currency controls employed by the Venezuelan government that has resulted in triple-digit inflation in the country on a monthly basis. But, the latest moves will likely create further chaos in the country as financial instability is getting out of hand.

Uruguay

Government to announce crypto regulations focusing on innovation: The Uruguayan chamber of fintech development has announced the commissioning of a special committee for development of crypto-related regulation in the country, according to latest reports by BNAmericas.

While such committees are often seen with suspicion by the crypto circles, the committee is reportedly being constituted to promote innovation and help strengthen the South American nation’s financial system. At the same time, Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards will be implemented and use of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities will be monitored.

The former president of the chamber said,”We realize that no activity can be developed outside of the regulatory sphere, and that’s particularly true when we’re talking about the financial system. For that reason we’re focusing on collaborating with the regulator and all other stakeholders involved. Within the fintech community, we dream of Uruguay being the ‘crypto-valley’ of LatAm.”

It is yet to be seen what these new regulations will be from the Uruguayan government.

Colombia

Exchange calls out banks after accounts closed: Popular South American cryptocurrency exchange Buda.com is in yet another legal battle as once again its accounts were closed by three big banks, this time in Colombia.

According to latest press releases by Buda, the event took place recently as the bank accounts of its clients were suspended to pre-empt the effort against cryptocurrencies by the three big banks including Banco Bilbao Argentaria, Davivienda and Bancolombia.

According to Alejandro Beltran, the director of Buda:

“There are mixed messages coming from the financial sector on innovation. The Colombian government promotes innovation and development, but when it comes down to it, they block what they don’t understand and are putting the brakes on financial technology.”

Buda will prepare to appeal to the country’s competition commission or courts just like in Chile where it won the initial round against the Chilean big banks.

 

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