Petro [PTR]: Venezuela files complaint against US sanctions at the WTO; calls it ‘discriminatory’

Venezuela has been fighting consistently against US sanctions before the World Trade Organization [WTO], which included the one imposed against its controversial cryptocurrency, Petro, amongst many others.
The Venezuelan government filed a complaint to the WTO last month, which was recently published, and it states various actions taken by the US recently. It claims that the US is interfering on Venezuela’s rights under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], which was signed in 1994, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS]. The complaint states:
“The United States has imposed certain coercive trade-restrictive measures on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of attempts to isolate Venezuela economically.”
Venezuela had announced the development of a cryptocurrency, Petro, in 2017 and the launch of the same took place in 2018. The cryptocurrency has since been in use in various industries on orders by their President, Nicolas Maduro.
However, this did not go down well and has seen pushback from the US lawmakers, who have criticized the cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency faced more resistance from the President of US, Donald Trump, who signed off on an executive order targeting Petro in March 2018.
Venezuela’s government claimed that these sanctions by the US are discriminatory coercive trade-restrictive measures. The complaint also claims that the Venezuelan financial services and financial suppliers receive “less favorable” treatment in comparison to other WTO nations.
The Venezuelan government notes that these measures are violating the Article II:1 of the GATS, that stated that no member nation will treat another member less favorably than any other nation, reported Cryptoscanner. The complaint submitted also states that:
“Furthermore, inasmuch as digital currencies originating in the United States are not subject to the same prohibitions as Venezuelan digital currencies, the United States is according less favorable treatment to Venezuelan financial services and service suppliers than to like domestic financial services and service suppliers, in violation of Article XVII:1 of the GATS.”
Article XVII:1 states that the nations part of WTO will not treat financial services and service suppliers of other nations less favorably than they treat such providers in their own country. As per Reuters, the US has 60 days to respond to the complaint filed by Venezuela. If the US fails to respond to this, Venezuela can ask the World Trade Organization to decide upon the complaint.
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Source: AMB Crypto

MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

CoinSpeaker

MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

MIT Technology Review published an article, providing an overview of the recent history of blockchain and explaining why it will start to become mundane in 2019. 

MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Venezuela Sidesteps USD to Use Petro Token for Oil Sales Starting from 2019

CoinSpeaker

Venezuela Sidesteps USD to Use Petro Token for Oil Sales Starting from 2019

In 2019, Venezuela will start selling oil in exchange for Petros and bypass US-imposed sanctions.

Venezuela Sidesteps USD to Use Petro Token for Oil Sales Starting from 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker

What Is Bitcoin? Crypto Featured as Category on Jeopardy

During last night’s airing of the popular TV game show Jeopardy, cryptocurrency was featured among the categories contestants could choose from.
I’ll Take Cryptocurrency for $1,000, Alex
On Thursday night’s episode of the iconic TV game show hosted by Alex Trebek, Jeopardy, cryptocurrency was one of the six categories contestants could select from.
In Jeopardy, chosen categories reveal an answer to a query and the contestants must phrase their response in the form of a question.
The first answer in the category was “an altcoin is any unit of cryptocurrency other than this one,” with the correct response being “What is Bitcoin?”
Next up, was the Daily Double, which had an answer “in 2018, this South American country launched the Petro currency backed by oil reserves,” referencing Venezuela’s native cryptocurrency token.
The third answer touched on a “3-letter chat app” that had a similar sounding name as its cryptocurrency token – a nod to Kik and the Kin token that will power the app’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Up fourth was an answer describing how blockchain worked. And last but not least, the answer “a lawsuit from this rapper killed off the Coinye currency,” pointed to the court case years prior between hip hop icon Kanye West and the Coinye cryptocurrency. West had no affiliation with the project but his likeness was used regardless without his permission, and a legal battle ensued that led to the founders of the project abandoning it.
While cryptocurrency being featured on a popular TV show like Jeopardy really has little to no impact on prices, adoption, or other key factors, one cannot discount the value of cryptocurrencies being exposed in an educational manner to the mainstream public on one of the most watched television shows in history. Jeopardy has over nine million viewers per week tune in, and is a household name easily recognizable by its iconic jingle.
Even better for crypto, the way cryptocurrencies were presented in a positive, educational manner and not the demonizing tone mainstream media usually portrays cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
More Ways to Play with Crypto
Playing Jeopardy alongside the live contestants and responding correctly in a crypto-focused Jeopardy category would be fun for just about any cryptocurrency enthusiast. But the fun doesn’t need to stop there.
Earlier this year, Bitcoin was officially added as a recognized word in the popular Hasbro board game Scrabble. Merriam-Webster, who maintains the official Scrabble dictionary made the addition in September alongside 300 other words including “emoji” and “twerk.” Placing tiles on the Scrabble board spelling out Bitcoin earns the player 11 points.
Scrabble points aside, investors betting on the cryptocurrency could potentially earn a lot of money, however, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been stuck in a grueling downtrend over the last 11-months.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Maduro Further Takes All the Imaginable Steps to Push the Adoption of His Petro Token

CoinSpeaker

Maduro Further Takes All the Imaginable Steps to Push the Adoption of His Petro Token

A new initiative of Venezuela aimed at boosting Petro adoption presupposes making it the main digital currency backed by oil.

Maduro Further Takes All the Imaginable Steps to Push the Adoption of His Petro Token

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Venezuela Drops US Dollar for International Transactions while Posting Record Bitcoin Trading Volume

Venezuela is abandoning the US dollar for international payments while the floating exchange rate system of the country will be operating in euro, yuan, and other convertible currency. Meanwhile, P2P Bitcoin trading volume is making records by registering the highest volume.
No more US Dollar for Venezuela
Venezuela is dropping the US dollar for all the future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market.
The US recently introduced sanctions against Caracas, Venezuela’s capital,
“block the possibility of continuing to trade using the US dollar on the Venezuelan exchange market,” that according to Tareck El Aissami, the country’s Vice President for Economy are “illegal and against international law.”
It has been posted on Twitter stating (rough translation),
“All transactions in the national market, including auctions of @ dicomve, will be referenced with euro, yuan or any other convertible currency.”

#ANUNCIO || Vicepresidente Sectorial de Economía @TareckPSUV: Todas las transacciones del mercado nacional, incluyendo las subastas de @dicomve, van a estar referenciadas con euro, yuanes o cualquier otra moneda convertible. #RegionesEstratégicasProductivas pic.twitter.com/jVYeoM4Aj3
— Vicepresidencia Vzla (@ViceVenezuela) October 16, 2018

The vice president further shares the “financial blackdae” by the US affects the country’s public as well as private sector including agriculture and pharmacy. He also said the floating exchange rate system, Dicom of Venezuela,
“will be operating in euro, yuan or any other convertible currency and will allow the foreign exchange market to use any other convertible currency.”
The sanctions imposed by the US has put a pressure on the country contributing to its social and economic crisis resulting in a shortage of basic necessities, hyperinflation, and devaluation of a national currency. This led to over 2.3 million people to leave the country this summer, according to the UN.
Meanwhile, P2P Bitcoin trading volume reaches heights
It is no surprise that Venezuelans are moving towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the country goes through a severe economic condition. According to the Coindance, the P2P bitcoin trading volume is making records at over 903 million bolivars in October.
Source: Coin.dance
With country’s hyperinflation reaching record heights and its own currency devaluing, cryptocurrencies are becoming a popular alternative method. Recently, Coincola, a crypto exchange partnered up with Dash, a cryptocurrency actively in use in the country, to target the Venezuela market.
Cryptos are gaining traction amidst the government’s attempts to float the petro cryptocurrency which doesn’t have much presence in the country. Recently, the government mandated the use of petro for passport payments.
The post Venezuela Drops US Dollar for International Transactions while Posting Record Bitcoin Trading Volume appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

United Capital CEO: Blockchain Will Eventually Impact Every Financial Transaction

Although blockchain is still clearly in its early stages of adoption, it is becoming increasingly clear that the technology underpinning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will ultimately affect the daily lives of all individuals.
This sentiment is shared by Joe Duran, the founder and CEO of United Capital, who expressed his confidence in the blossoming technology while speaking to CNBC, explaining that non-tech savvy investors can look at blockchain as being a high-tech immutable library book log, that keeps track of everyone who borrowed a book, and information regarding how long the book was borrowed.
Duran also expressed confidence in how far reaching the impact of blockchain would be, saying:
“Blockchain itself is going to be part of every transaction that occurs in the world. It’s going to take a decade before it’s there.”
Blockchain is already seeing increased utilization across a broad spectrum of markets, and the charge is undeniably being led by U.S. tech giant, IBM.
As previously reported, IBM recently released its blockchain-based Food Trust product, which allows retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers, to track the origins and logistics of perishable food items in order to better verify the freshness of these items.
Notable companies signed on the use this blockchain product are Nestle, Kroger, Unilever, and Tyson foods.
Will Adoption of Blockchain Affect That of Cryptocurrency?
In addition to being optimistic about blockchain technology, Duran also expressed his thoughts on the future of digital currency, telling CNBC that “Digital currency is the future of money — there is no doubt about it.”
Despite believing that cryptocurrency will be widely adopted in the future, Duran explained that he believes that cryptocurrency as we know it today may not be widely adopted, with governments and central banks offering digital versions of fiat currencies, like a digital USD or a digital Yuan.
“There will be a U.S. dollar crypto; there will be a Chinese yuan crypto. It will just be exactly what we know today, but in a digital version that gives governments the ability to oversee where the money is going,” he said.
That being said, Duran believes that digital currency won’t be hoarded as an investment asset, but as a utility to pay for daily purchases and things like rent and utility bills.
The main question surrounding Duran’s thoughts on the issuance of digital fiat currencies from governments is whether or not citizens will prefer those to decentralized digital currencies, that are free from the risks that are incurred when utilizing a state-backed currency.
An example of this can be seen in Venezuela, where citizens are turning to privately developed cryptocurrencies, like Dash and Bitcoin, to conduct transactions, rather than using the country’s state-issued cryptocurrency, the Petro.
Regardless of how cryptocurrency usage develops in the future, Duran is tremendously excited about the future of blockchain technology, exclaiming that:
“It’s unimaginable just how broad the impact is going to be to our lives, but there is no doubt in my mind that 10 years from now, blockchain will be as big as the internet is in our lives.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Petro is the only way Venezuelans can buy passports amid economic, humanitarian crisis

Venezuelans have been confronted with yet another problem. Individuals have been facing hardships to get access to the Petro cryptocurrency in order to pay for their passports, according to reports by Bloomberg.
The Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez stated that the new passports would cost two Petro [7,200 Bolivars] which are reportedly four times more than the monthly minimum wage of Venezuelans.
At an event last week, President Nicolas Maduro announced the restructuring of Petro. This announcement was made almost eight months after the official release of Petro.
Petro tokens, backed by oil and mineral reserves will reportedly be availabe for sale from November 5th. However, there has been an increase in corruption and shortage in the availablity of materials. This, in turn, has resulted in Venezuelans spending a vigorous amount of time in queues to apply and secure passports.
The latest data of the United Nations stated that more than 5,000 individuals leave Venezuela on a daily basis due to the intense humanitarian and econimic crises.
Furthermore, the enforcement of Petro could result in making it extremely difficult for Venezuelans to travel across the border. This is because the country has been “cut off” from major Latin American airline carriers, including Avianca, Latam Airlines, United Airlines, Aeromexico and Deutsche Lufthansa.
Moreover, Venezuelans have crossing border illegally in a pursuit to enter Colombia. Currently, almost 1 million Venezuelans reside in Colombia.
Angelo, a cryptocurrency enthusiast stated:
“Our Homeland Venezuela advances to giant steps towards prosperity thanks to the faith, confidence, daily work and love of the people that our comrade President Nicolas Maduro has to advance with firm steps to the Bolivarian Socialism”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Venezuela Formally Releases Petro, Will It Aid the Country’s Economic Recovery?

Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, will be released to the global markets this Monday, marking one of the first cryptocurrencies in the industry to be created and administered by a government.
The cryptocurrency is part of the government’s “Economic Recovery, Growth, and Prosperity Program” that came about after the country fell into economic turmoil following a messy political switch to socialism.
While speaking to the country during a televised address, Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s president, said that the Petro is practical because it is backed by physical assets, including the country’s oil and precious metals, reports Venezuelanalysis.
“The Petro, unlike other digital currencies, doesn’t need to be mined because it already has a value, it is shielded with Venezuelan oil and mining wealth,” Maduro said.
The country has notably forced banks and businesses to accept the Petro and to treat it the same as the country’s fiat currency, the Bolívar, which has been the victim of hyperinflation over the past year. The government now requires the Petro to be a legal substitute to the Bolívar for everything ranging from real-estate to groceries.
Maduro clearly has high and unrealistic hopes for how impactful the Petro will be to Venezuela’s economy, expressing that their openness to nascent technologies, like cryptocurrency, will be the incubator for a new and robust economy.
“All Venezuelans will have access to the Petro and through it to make international purchases…The National Plan of Cryptoactives of Venezuela, will last 10 years. This is going to be the epicenter of the development of a new economy in the country,” Maduro added.
In addition to turning a new leaf for the Venezuelan economy, the government expects the Petro to neutralize threats of illicit activities in the country. This includes the black markets and money mafias, which the government blames for the Bolívar’s hyperinflation and the country’s economic troubles.
Petro Not Being Utilized by Venezuelan Citizens, Bitcoin the Most Popular Substitute
Despite the government’s efforts to mandate the use of the Petro, it is not being widely used by the country’s citizens, who are turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to protect their money from the Bolívar’s inflation.
According to volume tracker Coin Dance, Venezuelan Bitcoin trading reached an all-time high last week, and is already close to surpassing last week’s high in the first couple of days this week alone.
Last week, Venezuelan’s exchanged approximately $620 billion Bolívar’s for Bitcoin last week, and have already traded approximately $640 million Bolívar’s for Bitcoin this week alone.
In addition to Bitcoin surging in popularity, the cryptocurrency Dash has seen increasing Venezuelan adoption in the past few months, making Venezuela Dash’s number two market in the world.
Ryan Taylor, CEO of the Dash Group, spoke about the growing popularity of Dash in the economically tumultuous country, saying:
“We are seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month… Earlier this year, Venezuela became our number two market even ahead of China and Russia, which are of course huge into cryptocurrency right now.”
Although U.S. citizens are banned from buying the Petro due to sanctions from the White House, it is unclear how well international investors will take to the state-backed cryptocurrency.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Report Finds Venezuela’s Petro is Not Being Used in the Country

Following the creation of Venezuela’s state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, citizens in the economically tumultuous country say that use of the Petro is nowhere to be found.
The new investigative report from Reuter’s comes just a couple weeks after President Maduro declared it as the second national currency and mandated that banks adopt it as a traditional currency.
The Petro was seen by the government as the solution to the country’s economic issues, which include the hyper-inflation of the state’s fiat currency, the Bolívar. Since its launch in February, citizens say that no one is using the Petro.
Speaking to Reuters, Igdalia Diaz, a homemaker, said that “there is no sign of the Petro here,” while speaking about the crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, and widespread starvation.
Interestingly enough, the Petro hasn’t been listed on any major cryptocurrency exchanges and isn’t accepted at the majority of shops in the country. Many see the launch of the Petro as being a cash grab by state officials, like President Maduro, who claims that the crypto has raised $3.3 billion that has been used to pay for import fees.
Lack of liquidity, and U.S. sanctions against the crypto, are partially to blame for the lack of widespread adoption. Analysts also claim that it is unlikely that the initial coin offering (ICO) brought in a significant amount of funds, with Tom Robinson, chief data officer and co-founder of Elliptic, a blockchain data company, explaining that:
“This certainly doesn’t look like a typical ICO, given the low level of transaction activity. We have found no evidence that anyone has been issued a petro, nor of it being actively traded on any exchange.”
Investors around the world invested in the Petro ICO, feeling that the first state-backed cryptocurrency would offer a great investment prospect if it successfully adopted. However, most of these investors are now claiming that they were scammed.
On an online cryptocurrency forum, Bitcointalk, some Petro investors stated that they feel they were scammed, while others blamed U.S. sanctions for the lack of liquidity. One poster who claimed to be an investor said, “as of now yes we got scammed, time will tell if it was a good investment or not.”
Petro Failing, but Dash Sees Surging Adoption in Venezuela  
Although the Petro is not seeing adoption in Venezuela, the cryptocurrency Dash has experienced surging adoption rates due to its cheap and rapid transaction times, and a huge marketing push from the Dash Core Group. While speaking to Business Insider, Dash Core Group’s CEO, Ryan Taylor, said:
“We are seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month… Earlier this year, Venezuela became our number two market even ahead of China and Russia, which are of course huge into cryptocurrency right now.”
In addition to quick transaction times and low fees, companies see the benefits of using cryptocurrencies, like Dash, in countries like Venezuela because they lose money in the time it takes to process a credit card transaction.
Taylor explained this, saying:
“Effectively, even if I accept a credit card, three days later when the funds hit my account, it’s worth significantly less in Venezuela than when the authorization went through.”
The use of cryptocurrencies in countries suffering from economic turmoil proves their utility, providing individuals with an alternative method of payment superior to that of their state’s fiat currency. Citizens in Turkey have also notably been using cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, over fiat currency due to similar economic problems.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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