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.
Crypto exchanges fight back on bank blockade: Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges have filed cases in Chilean appeal courts in an attempt to overturn the government’s forced shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges through three of the largest banks namely Bank of Nova Scotia, Itau Corpbanca and state-owned bank Banco El Estado de Chile.
Three of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges Buda.com, Crypto Market (Crypto MKT) and Orionx are currently blocked from using banks at all. At the time of the ban, the state-owned Banco del Estado de Chile said that it will stop operating “with companies that are dedicated to the insurance or creation, brokerage, intermediation or serve as a platform for the so-called cryptocurrencies”.
Cryptocurrency trading in Chile is significant with Buda alone handling USD 1 million worth of cryptocurrency trades on a daily basis. The defense lawyer was of the opinion that this decision was a gross exploitation of a situation of economic independence.
The reasoning provided by banks has little or no details and the exchanges are buoyed by this lack of detail in securing back their operations in the South American country.
Chile trials transparent blockchain-based energy data for the public: Chile’s national energy organization, Nacional de Energía de Chile (CNE), has announced that it is launching a new pilot project to utilize Ethereum blockchain smart contracts to store energy products and their data from the nation’s abundant reserves.
The CNE issued a press release recently that detailed benefits of using a decentralized system rather than an easily manipulated central security database. The data will be stored in a distributed ledger on EnBenergía Abierta, a database that is stored in hundreds of servers around the country. The public can see and account for the energy data, making for a smooth and transparent government process.
Blockchain embassy in Panama City: Panama has moved forward with a Blockchain Embassy planned for crypto enthusiasts, entrepreneur, activists and connoisseurs opened for the general public. The location is at Balboa Boutiques Strip Mall of Balboa Avenue in Panama City.
Crypto merchandise is available for sale in the new setup as well as themed drinks, new hardware wallets, a coffee ship and a co-working space. In a press release posted on Bitcoin.com, the embassy will also host cryptocurrency workshops, presentations and other events with the general public being welcomed in the Panama crypto community. According to the press release:
“The embassy accepts payments in cash and crypto, and has become an emblematic tourist site in Panama. It receives visitors from all over the world. It is one of the projects created by startup Cryptobuyer.io, known for being the first company in the world to install ATMs in commercial banks, as well as integrating its system Cryptobuyer Pay that allows any commerce to accept payments in Bitcoin and other currencies.”
The site is easily accessible by card and the administration has smartly integrated all of its amenities.
Petro cryptocurrency declared as legal tender: The Venezuelan government led by President Maduro has recently decreed state Petro cryptocurrency to be legal tender. The country’s official gazette on 9 April 2018 reported this latest development and President Maduro has also announced that all state institutions will start accepting Petro as legal tender.
Bolivar sees 454% inflation as President Maduro banks on Petro: Venezuela’s stricken economy continues to see hyperinflation of up to 454% in the first quarter of 2018. The Venezuelan Bolivar (VEB) has weakened by an astonishing 8900% in the last 12 months alone. President Maduro, instead of focusing on the hyperinflation, is banking on the new cryptocurrency Petro to quell the ever-increasing hyperinflation in the country.
The hyperinflation has brought the government to the brink of economic collapse and Venezuelans are fleeing the country by the thousands but the focus on Petro, which is at least theoretically backed by oil products, is continued to be seen by the government as an escape route.
Petro awarded Satoshi Nakamoto Prize: Venezuela’s Petro continues to make the headlines despite many problems hawking its development with the first state cryptocurrency recently awarded the Satoshi Nakamoto Prize by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACB) in Moscow. Russia’s alleged help in launching this cryptocurrency was also reported in previous weeks so this prize comes as little surprise.
Brazilian crypto businesses, exchanges create rival associations: Top Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges BitcoinTrade, Mercado Bitcoin, Foxbit and others have recently joined hands to create a new cryptocurrency association Associação Brasileira de Criptoeconomia (ABCripto), whose purpose is to defend the interests of cryptocurrency users and development of the decentralized economy.
Another rival group of like-minded companies have also launched their own platform – the Associação Brasileira de Criptomoedas e Blockchain (ABCB). This group is led by fintech firm Atlas Project.
XP Investments launches crypto exchange: Brazil’s investment giant XP Investimentos Bank that takes care of more than USD 35 billion for over 500,000 clients, has announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange. The new exchange is called XDEX INTERMEDIACAO LTDA and its registered capital is set at USD 7.3 million.