Why Bitcoin Cannot Fix the Socioeconomic Crisis in Venezuela 6296

Venezuela has seen its national currency become practically worthless after undergoing one of the worst economic crisis in history. The inflation is all-time high – all the essential goods such as medicines and even toilet papers have soared in value. More citizens are leaving the country every day, while the ones who cannot afford to migrate are protesting on streets against the government.

As a result, many Venezuelans are turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a haven against the super-weak Bolivar – at least those who have the technical knowledge to access an Internet-based economy. And given the price of bitcoin, which has dropped from $20,000 to $5,200 in over a year, it is the evidence of how despondent Venezuelans have become.

Venezuelans Can’t Access Bitcoin

The popularity of bitcoin in Venezuela is highly exaggerated, according to regional cryptocurrency reporters that has witnessed the “true” crypto adoption on the ground. José Rafael Peña Gholam of LongHash wrote about how a large section of Venezuelans remain clueless about cryptocurrencies and how to access them. Most of them see bitcoin as a scam. Atop that, people’s potential to learn about the cryptocurrency becomes lesser due to lack of internet connectivity.

“Venezuela’s Internet continues to deteriorate, as the government manages most of the country’s telecommunications concessions,” writes Gholam. “Once you get far from the big cities, it is even harder to get a good Internet connection. Smartphones, which tend to be priced in dollars, are even more expensive for Venezuelans now.”

Diana Aguilar, a Venezuelan crypto reporter, shares a similar firsthand account. She talks about issues of people’s weak “computer and financial literacy,” which disallows them to access anything the cryptocurrency world has to offer. Her insightful article also discusses how people who don’t have a clue about Venezuela’s ground issues speak broadly about its potential to adopt bitcoin.

“The crypto industry needs to stop viewing Venezuela as a testing ground for wild ideas and start viewing us as what we really are: irreplaceable partners in the financial revolution,” Aguilar wrote in her latest CoinDesk column.

The Solution

The Venezuelan crisis has given bitcoin supporters evidence that a decentralized economy can, at least, mitigate the problem, if not resolve it entirely. But to truly boost the crypto’s widespread adoption, there is a need for an excellent infrastructure. New governments need to take charge and create better intragovernmental relationships with the US and the rest of the world.

More investments need to come into Venezuela to put its economy back on tracks. Bitcoin, for all its technical finesse, is still a protocol without a president, a CEO, or a prime minister. Only an organization with top leadership could normalize the situation in Venezuela.

The actual bitcoin adoption comes later – when people have the means to learn and practice it in the real-time. A stable government can pave the way by providing access to better infrastructure – at least faster internet and cheaper smartphones to allow people to start their bitcoin course. Until that happens, let’s not project bitcoin as the Messiah that could solve Venezuela’s economic crisis single-handedly.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 ARRESTED IN THE UK AND NETHERLANDS IN €24 MILLION CRYPTOCURRENCY THEFT 3693

Today, the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) in a joint operation with the Dutch police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested 6 individuals after a 14-month long investigation into a €24 million cryptocurrency theft.

The five men and one woman were arrested in simultaneous warrants this morning at their homes in Charlcombe, Lower Weston and Staverton (UK) and Amsterdam and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

The theft, which targeted users’ Bitcoin tokens, is believed to have affected at least 4 000 victims in 12 countries, with the numbers continuing to grow.

The investigation relates to typosquatting, where a well-known online cryptocurrency exchange was ‘spoofed’ – or recreated to imitate the genuine site – to gain access to victims’ Bitcoin wallets, stealing their funds and login details.

This case was referred to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) hosted at Europol after the British authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands. Operational support delivered by EC3 since February 2018 allowed the J-CAT to coordinate the international cooperation between the different EU Member States involved.

In addition, operational meetings were organised at Europol’s headquarters between the British and Dutch authorities, allowing for the smooth exchange of intelligence and evidence which led to these successful arrests. A coordination meeting was also held at Eurojust to prepare for the action day.

Bitfinex to Complete Platform Upgrade on June 26 4127

bittt

On Wednesday June 26, both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be offline for up to seven hours as we commence a platform upgrade designed to enhance the stability and scalability of the iFinex matching engine.

The platform upgrade will require taking all iFinex trading platforms offline for the duration of the maintenance period. This means that traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be unable to trade, view or access their wallets during the update.

We kindly ask all our traders to plan ahead accordingly and make the necessary account adjustments prior to the start of the platform upgrade.

What this means for traders

The June 26th update is designed specifically for us to be able to deliver a more sophisticated trading experience, further separating Bitfinex from the remainder of the digital asset trading space. This includes, amongst other things, laying the foundation for the launch of derivatives trading on Bitfinex.

Traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will not be required to take any actions:

  • All funds will remain safe and unaffected throughout the platform upgrade, and will not be at risk at any point.
  • No orders will be executed during downtime. All open orders will be kept (regardless of price movements) and resume once the platform is back online.
  • Users will not be liquidated during downtime. However, traders should be aware that if the price moves significantly during this time, they are at risk of liquidation as and when the platform is reopened. In line with this, we kindly ask all traders to review their margin requirements and assess the risk of market movement on their open margin positions before entering the maintenance window.

Whilst the platform upgrade is set to take place on June 26th, this date is largely dependent on broader cryptocurrency market conditions and the chance exists that the upgrade will be postponed if market movements are deemed too volatile.

We appreciate that up to seven hours is a significant length of time in digital asset trading, but we ensure our active user base that we have taken every measure to make this upgrade as seamless as possible.

For more information on the day of the upgrade, please refer to the Bitfinex status page and Twitter account for official progress. We will let our users know 5 minutes before the platform re-opens. Trading will start 10 minutes after the platform is accessible again.

The eToroX Libra Implementation 4353

Facebook’s announcement this week about its cryptocurrency Libra has far-reaching potential. eToroX’s Labs Blockchain Science team, comprising Chief Blockchain Scientist Dr. Omri Ross, Peter Emil Jensen, and Johannes Rude Jensen, was quick off the mark to investigate how our eToro tokenized assets (and the technology behind them) would work on Libra’s initial prototype, and how well it suited our specifications.

By exploring Libra’s capabilities, and using Move IR (the intermediary representative layer of what will eventually be the final programming language), they successfully managed to implement an initial version of eToro tokenized assets on the Libra Network.

Using a previous incarnation of an implementation that targeted Ethereum as a basis, the team wrote and executed a basic implementation for creating digital asset infrastructure (tokenization capabilities) on Libra.

Our Top Two Takeaways

1. In Move, resources (data structure types) cannot be moved or copied — an extremely constructive and beneficial capability, especially for digital assets, since it prevents accidental duplication and loss.

2. Contrary to other blockchain languages, Move does not allow publishing data on behalf of other users. Because of this, it requires users to acknowledge this beforehand, thereby giving users full control of which data is associated with them.

Read the full report of eToroX’s Libra Implementation on Github.

AI and blockchain solution for insurance industry BlockClaim raises seed funding 5436

BlockClaim

BlockClaim, the first hybrid artificial intelligence and blockchain technology solution developed for the insurance industry, has successfully completed its seed funding round with a £500,000 investment.

Developed at Imperial College London, BlockClaim uses the very latest advanced data science techniques to provide insurers with AI-powered fraud filtering and blockchain claim automation. It allows insurers to simultaneously detect fraudulent claims and process claims in record time thanks to groundbreaking capabilities such as intelligent claims-routing and self-learning fraud detection.

Features such as an image recognition AI module can be used to automatically detect damage to vehicles in the event of an accident claim and validate whether it’s genuine or fraudulent. The system can also scan phone and email conversations for inconsistencies and irregularities, helping insurers automatically weed out fraudsters, resolve claims faster and offer a better standard of customer service. BlockClaim delivers a cost per claim reduction of 20% along with significantly reduced settlement times.

The seed funding round attracted investment from global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners, whose previous investments include Graphcore. Amadeus is known for its focus on AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, healthcare and SaaS. It has invested over $1 billion since 1997 and specialises in taking high-growth companies global. A number of highly successful insurance executives and business angels also backed BlockClaim in its seed round.

Niels Thoné, CEO of BlockClaim, says, “BlockClaim brings the insurance industry into the digital age with state-of-the-art engineering which couples the power of machines and distributed ledger technology with over two decades of industry experience. The rapid advancement of data science allows us to provide unprecedented objectivity and context automatically in areas that were hitherto only subjective. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to pass through the net.”

DrawBridge Lending Offer Bitcoin SV Non-recourse Loans with No Margin Calls 5098

Bitcoin SV

In another cryptocurrency first, you can now secure loans against your BSV. Chicago-based DrawBridge Lending now offers BSV non-recourse loans with no margin calls. Not in the future but today, as DrawBridge CEO Jason Urban explains: “Recently, we loaned an entity a seven-figure sum secured by BSV and BTC posted with a third party regulated custodian. The interest rate on this transaction was 3%, well below standard market rates. We are able to lend the money at this rate by putting the collateral to work with the use of standard derivative option strategies.”

The main benefit of DrawBridge’s loan product is that the borrower can keep their BSV coin but generate sufficient returns to pay down the cost of funds. The borrower is free to deploy the cash proceeds for its own needs while retaining ownership, and potential price upside, of their coin. In this particular case, BSV price rallied 150% after the loan and the client retained the price appreciation which they would not have been able to do if they had simply liquidated the coin.

This is a noteworthy milestone for the BSV ecosystem for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that trade desks are willing to engage in options trades with BSV coins. This speaks volumes of how BSV is perceived by the professional trading community. Secondly, as the trading of derivatives on the coin becomes more widespread in the BSV ecosystem, finance professionals will create more useful products to deploy and unleash the full potential of the asset.

Calvin Ayre, owner and founder of the Ayre Group and CoinGeek, and supporter of BSV added: “When I first heard about how DrawBridge Lending were expanding into BSV, I was blown away by how obvious the business model was and, obviously, delighted to see further real-life business utility for the only coin that does it all.”

NB: The options are traded on the basis of a standard legal agreement called ISDA Master Agreements. These are common in the traditional financial world but are in the early stages of adoption in the digital world.

Which Coins Will Likely To Be Affected By The Binance Shutdown By The US? 6241

Binance has recently announced that they will no longer allow access of US traders to the exchange, starting September 12, 2019. Although Binance has stated that they will be partnering with Bam Trading to create a US compliant exchange, there is still no time frame on when this will be active – and we can also assume that it will be a minimal function, to begin with for US customers.

In the meantime, we can assume that the volume for the majority of cryptocurrencies that were available to US customers on Binance will now suffer significantly over the next few months as US customers have limited options to trade the cryptocurrencies elsewhere.

The following chart shows which of the coins which are listed on Binance are also listed on other US exchanges. Those include Coinbase, Bittrex, Poloniex, Kraken, HuobiUS, and eToro.

The research is very eye-opening as it shows how the majority of cryptocurrencies will now struggle to find liquidity after the Binance US closure.

bin

Cryptocurrencies such as AE, HOT, LINK, NANO, ONE, VET, and WTC will have nowhere to trade for US customers. These cryptocurrencies should see a significant drop in volume during the upcoming months as they have nowhere for US customers to trade from, as of writing this. Of the above, Harmony (ONE) was the latest IEO on Binance Launchpad.

Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of Binance, will only be available to trade on eToro. In fact, there are quite a few top-flight coins that will be available to trade on just one US compliant exchange, including ARK, BTT, IOTA, PIVX, and ZIL. These cryptocurrencies are lucky to have one exchange but will still see a significant fall in volume coming from US customers after the Binance anticipated shutdown.

Veteran Altcoins At Less Risk
Although the previously mentioned cryptocurrencies may be in trouble, there is still a handful of cryptocurrencies that will be available on a range of US compliant exchanges that will not be affected by the recent Binance closure. These include cryptocurrencies such as XRP, DASH, XLM, ETC, ZRX, and ZEN – which are all on more than 4 US compliant exchanges.

The bottom line is that the recent Binance closure will send ripples throughout the entire cryptocurrency industry. Binance is the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange with the highest reported volume. However, a large proportion of this volume is coming from US customers. After the US customers have been restricted, we will most certainly see a substantial drop in the amount of volume coming into the market. What is for sure, is that CZ, the CEO of Binance, is already working on a solution for his US customers.