Bitcoin Will Become a Factor in Turkey as Hard Cash Disappears – Max Keiser

Keiser Report host Max Keiser is as bullish and hopeful as ever that Bitcoin will take over the world. Earlier today, Keiser in response to a post by Zerohedge on Twitter, said Bitcoin will soon become a factor to Turks as cash disappears.
The Turks know what is coming
According to Zerohedge, Turkish residents have been buying and storing hard currency since the beginning of the year. Turks have amassed up to $20 billion in the hard currency because “they know what is coming”, according to Zerohedge. The purchase of hard currency could be a means of survival from a recession that may hit the nation in 2019.
According to CNBC, experts predict a recession that is about to hit Turkey since 2018. The prediction has to do with a downgrade from rating agencies Moody and S&P that id moving Turkey’s debt closer to junk territory, the report says.
“The downgrade reflects our expectation that the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira and the resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey’s economy, we forecast a recession next year.” S&P Global Ratings said in a statement.
Also Read: Bitcoin SV [BSV] Up 100%; Craig Wright Makes Another Attempt To Cause FOMO?
Other countries have turned to Bitcoin
Countries like Venezuela whose currencies have failed have turned to cryptocurrency, majorly Bitcoin and Dash. The Venezuela Bolivar had suffered from hyperinflation for years until it became useless even for domestic purchases. Bitcoin airdrops were made as a donation to the country’s citizens to help them get on their feet despite the launch of their own oil-backed cryptocurrency the Petro.
Venezuela has also faced the same sanctions Turkey is facing with right now and with a massive recession forecast for a nation of 80 million people, citizens storing hard cash for the days to come. However, Keiser believes cash will go away and Bitcoin will become the only way out for Turks, just as it is for the Venezuelans right now. Should the Turks be buying and storing Bitcoin instead of cash?
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Source: CoinGape

Venezuela Turns to Crypto and Rubles to Bypass US Sanctions

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Venezuela Turns to Crypto and Rubles to Bypass US Sanctions
Venezuela and Russia are discussing an option to use the Ruble and the Petro in their mutual trade settlements.
Venezuela Turns to Crypto and Rubles to Bypass US Sanctions

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Petro and Venezuela: The arrival of United States and the South American country’s crumbling economy

This is Part 2 of our article on Petro and Venezuela.
As discussed in Part 1 of the article, the launch of Petro in Venezuela created a massive wave of apprehension among the world community, with many leaders condemning the Nicolas Maduro government for launching a cryptocurrency over focusing on improving the country’s failing economy. The United States was not far behind either, and has been heavily involved in Venezuela recently. This article looks at the steps taken by the US to oversee and check Venezuela, as well as the current scenario in the financially ravaged South American country.
The United States Point of View
Venezuela and the US have had a tumultuous relationship in the past, with the first clear line of animosity drawn in 2015 when the then-President Barack Obama signed sanctions halting crude exports from within Venezuela. This decision formed the backbone of Nicolas Maduro’s animosity towards the US, with the South American country making it clear at the World Trade Organization that the sanctions against it were ‘discriminatory’.
Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, has widened the chasm between the two countries by backing Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan Opposition party. Guaido also received support from other countries like Canada and Germany, forcing Maduro to speculate about a grand coup orchestrated by the world’s most powerful nations. The sheer amount of opposition did not stop the Venezuelan government from boosting its Petro prowess though, as the government established its own cryptocurrency regulatory authority called Sunacrip.
Since its inception, Sunacrip has released multiple decrees and articles to integrate Petro into the workings of the Venezuelan economy. One of the official decrees from Sunacrip says,
“The sender of the remittances referred to in this ruling is obliged to pay a financial commission in favor of Sunacrip up to a maximum amount of 15% calculated on the total of the remittance.”
The developments around Petro peaked on 11 March, 2019, when the US government reportedly discovered that there were Russian links in money transfers to Venezuela. Evrofinance Morasbank, a bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state entities, had assisted and provided support for the PDSA, said the United States Treasury. Steen Munchin, the United States’ Treasury Secretary, had said,
“The United States will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela.”
The bank did not retaliate to the comments made by the Treasury, promising to continue working for its clients. However, Russia made a strong statement, stating that it will fund the bank if the US continues its clampdown.
Venezuela right now
With the intervention of multiple countries into the grand scheme of things, it is hard to ignore who the real victims are: the people of Venezuela. They were supposed to be relieved off their financial troubles with the launch of Petro, but all it has done is broken the system even more. It is not like Petro didn’t take off due to the lack of cryptocurrency knowledge in the country. In fact, the truth is far from it.
During the launch of Petro, Dash, another popular cryptocurrency, was already being used in public and private transactions. The country also had its own Bitcoin ATMs, with some speculating that Venezuela was so involved in the cryptospace that a dip in transactions resulted in a significant dip in the total BTC transactions volume.  
The integration of Petro into the financial system of Venezuela was supposed to be a landmark move, aimed at arresting the country’s degradation. Looking at the factors mentioned earlier, it is clear that the state-backed cryptocurrency has not done anything to save the country. Last year, when Maduro spoke about the cryptocurrency, he claimed that it will change the way citizens live in the country. In some twisted way, that is exactly what has happened.
With the latest blackout, Venezuela has fallen deeper into the chasm. Schools were closed, communications were negligible, and food and water resources were depleting. In the midst of all this, Maduro’s main focus has been to curb Juan Guaido’s ascendancy. On 28 March, the incumbent government banned Guaido from holding any public office for the next 15 years, a rule brushed off by the interim President who stated,
“It doesn’t matter. We will continue to raise our voice from the streets.”
Despite the aloofness of the government and the President, organizations such as the Red Cross have been trying to protect the citizens of Venezuela. Just recently, the humanitarian organization managed to broker a deal within the country to allow delivery of aid to the affected people. Red Cross claimed that the scale of operations was similar to the Syrian situation in terms of people affected.
Petro’s failure was again evidenced when Venezuelan citizens continued to use fiat money and credit cards for their day-to-day activities, instead of Venezuela’s own cryptocurrency. The movement of Petro within the country has also been scarce as only a handful of people have reported to having used it. Links with Russia have only hurt Petro’s reputation, with reports still waiting to confirm Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the creation of Petro.
Venezuela is now a playground for Russia-US geopolitics and the only victims are the citizens of the South American country. Cryptocurrencies have provided some hope though, with on-ground reports showing that people have actually used Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for ‘much needed financial freedom.’ Right now, Venezuela is holding on for dear life, with help pouring in from different quarters of the world. However, one thing is for certain: Petro is not the country’s savior.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Petro and Venezuela: The origin of a cryptocurrency that was supposed to save the country

This is Part 1 of our article on Petro and Venezuela.
Episodes of wars and conflict have long been tools by which empires have risen and fallen. With the onset of the new age and the Industrial Revolution, a key component of what makes the world tick was revealed – money, or more specifically, the value of money. The importance of this essential cog was first revealed back in 1929 with the Great Depression, which destroyed communities and livelihoods, leaving millions unemployed and even more out on the streets.
In the ninety years since, some countries have witnessed scenarios being replicated to the point of crushing economic debt and hyperinflation that could statistically not be calculated [Eg. Zimbabwe]. Out of all those countries, one nation stands out as the victim of one of the world’s most brutal economic downfalls since the Great Depression: Venezuela.
A country that was previously known for its wonderous exports, is now in the midst of a civil war and increasing hyperinflation rates that threaten to tear the country apart. In this article, we will discuss Venezuela’s tragic backstory, the inception of Petro and the massive backlash it has received since then.
Venezuela’s story
After the death of Hugo Chavez and the rise of incumbent President Nicolas Maduro in 2013, Venezuela underwent a rapid shift in dynamics, be it on the political or economic front. Last year, it was reported that Venezuela’s inflation rates hit an all-time high of 80,000%, a figure that came to be because of the reversal of a lot of regulations put forth by Chavez, as well as reports of money laundering from within the country.
A key marker in Nicolas Maduro’s reign was formed in February 2018, when the Venezuelan government put forth the whitepaper for a state-backed cryptocurrency called Petro. It was launched at a time when the native Bolivar was falling to sickening lows and there was rampant unrest among the masses.
Petro
The introduction of a state-backed cryptocurrency was seen as a risky move in a country where the citizens were paying close to 500,000 Bolivars for a loaf of bread, but that didn’t stop Maduro’s government from listing out the details. To build the value of the cryptocurrency, the government allocated 5 billion barrels to it, a move immortalized by a lot of oil-rich nations.
Sources had claimed that the economy would recover because each Petro coin would be worth a barrel of oil, a sentiment drawn from Venezuela’s oil-rich history. The release was announced to the people by Maduro, who said,
“As of next Monday, Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the Petro. It will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA oil industry.”
Another key player in the release of Petro was the Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-owned petroleum company marred by allegations of corruption, insider trading, and fraud. Since Maduro’s announcement, Petro and the country’s economy in general, have been on an accelerated downfall, punctuated by public outcries, sanctions against the government and a new interim president.
Issues
Before talking about Petro, one should look at the events that transpired in the world of cryptocurrencies at the time. The entire world was just coming out of the Bitcoin high where the world’s largest cryptocurrency rocketed to trade at $19,500, which was followed by people attacking the viability of such a volatile asset.
When Petro launched, the fire was stoked again, with a lot of financial analysts criticizing the Venezuelan government’s decision to place faith in a cryptocurrency to save its unstable economy. Some even called Maduro a “fool” and a “madman,” for risking the lives of its 32 million-odd population.
Even cryptocurrency CEOs and enthusiasts pitched in with their opinion, with some even trying to make the best of the situation. Justin Sun, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tron Foundation, directly engaged with Nicolas Maduro on Twitter by saying,
“If you really care about your people and want them to put Petro to actual use, at least build on some faster technology like Tron and not Ethereum [ETH].”
This was just the tip of the iceberg as reports suggested that Maduro and his associates were directly involved in a massive money laundering scheme. The allegation was connected to the $735 million raised a few hours after the launch of Petro, money which was supposed to be used for building the foundation of the Petro network.
Alas, in a technical audit conducted by a Latin American exchange firm last year, it was reported that none of the specified funds ever existed on the blockchain. The report, originally published in Spanish, said,
“..the mention of agreements with the ghost company “Aerotrading”, which does not figure in the ecosystem of development and neither on the Internet; In addition, the Zeus company dissociates itself from the agreements made, while the Venezuelan government is still naming the companies and the Nem foundation as the direct responsible for the integration of the Token [Petro].”
The barrage of news against Petro continued when Nicholas Maduro gave multiple private organizations access to the seven main oil fields in the country. The list involved two companies based in France and Italy as well, a direct reversal of the Chavez-era rule that curbed the sale of oil in Venezuela by foreign private companies. On top of this, it was the much despised PDVSA that set the framework for the workings of these organizations by, 

Giving the companies a 6-year quota to boost sales and production
Asking them to establish contracts to increase output and ensure proper payments

The same PDVSA was recently hit by sanctions by the United States government, a move aimed at curbing crude exports from Venezuela as well as removing Maduro from power. The United States’ entry into this volatile mix was the catalyst that triggered global powers to take action against the Maduro regime.
The inherent issues were just a start as multiple interventions from countries such as the United States also rocked the very foundation on which Petro was built. And as it turned out, the cryptocurrency that was supposed to save the economy, turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Part 2 of the article will address the entry of the United States into the troubles political waters of the South American country, and the impact it has had on Venezuela and its citizens.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC]: Following mega-blackout in Venezuela, BTC volume domino drops in neighboring countries

Venezuela is in a state of distrust and emergency, considering the recent blackout which pushed the country and its people towards the brink of frustration. The massive power outage is said to have affected 15 out of 23 states and as a result, caused a decrease in the Bitcoin’s overall transaction volume.
As per the data obtained from Coin Dance, the Bitcoin volume of Venezuela peaked on February 09, 2019; a total volume of 2,487 BTC was noticed on the date. However, the BTC volume as of March 09, 2019 was 1,129 BTC, a 54.60% decrease in volume.
Source: CoinDance
The Venezuelan government, especially Maduro, has been vocal about his opinion on Bitcoin. This move is being considered as a way to suppress people from buying Bitcoins and push them towards its oil-backed cryptocurrency, Petro, by a large part of the crypto-community.
This caused widespread panic in the community, leading to the shutdown of private and public businesses, which led to a total loss of $400 million in the country. Moreover, neighboring countries like Colombia, Peru, Chile have all faced decreasing volume in BTCs, which could be a domino effect.
A decrease in volume was also observed in Peru as the volume of Bitcoin fell from 303 BTC on February 09, 2019, to 179 BTC on March 09, 2019, which was a drop of approximately 40%.
Source: CoinDance
Chile also observed a similar effect as the Bitcoin volume for the same time period decreased from 90 BTC to 62 BTC.
Source: CoinDance
The BTC volume in Colombia decreased from 760 BTC on February 09, 2019, to 668 BTC on March 09, 2019. The same can be seen in the chart below.
Source: CoinDance
The overall volume of Bitcoin reduced from 14,896 BTC to 12,537 BTC from February 09 to March 09, 2019.
Source: CoinDance
The blackout caused some people to look into solutions that don’t require communication through existing connections.
A Twitter user, @Ragnarly, commented:
“This drop in Venezuelan Localbitcoin transactions reminds of the need and value of building redundant communications infrastructure. Some existing solutions include @OPENDIME, @Blockstream satellite, and @SamouraiWallet + @gotenna.”
@Carlos_t815, a Twitter user and an author at Caracas Chronicles, tweeted:
“The volume of transactions in Localbitcoins went from more than one million dollars a day to 183k during Day 1 of the mega Blackout.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Counter Argument: A Caracas-Based Journalist Says Bitcoin is Not Saving Venezuela

While Venezuela’s economy continues to suffer under the haphazard mismanagement by Nicolás Maduro, it has caused the country’s citizens to rely on Bitcoin as a currency, store of value, and its use to transfer funds across borders.
Bitcoin has been at the center of many discussions claiming that the entire country is turning to the leading crypto by market cap, with one recent op-ed in the New York Times offering up a story how it saved one struggling Venezuelan citizen’s family. However, a new counter-argument is suggesting that Bitcoin’s usage and dominance in the economically strapped country is extremely overstated, and is instead is being used to fuel cryptocurrency-promoting campaigns.
Argument: Bitcoin Is Saving Families During the Venezuela Economic Crisis
A recent opinion piece published by the New York Times entitled “Bitcoin Has Saved My Family,” has the crypto world buzzing. Bitcoin’s deflationary design, its existence outside the control of governments and financial institutions, and its use as a store of value and transactional currency make the first ever cryptocurrency especially valuable for nations in economic turmoil or those without meaningful banking infrastructure.
The article’s author told a tale of how due to the rapidly declining value of the bolivar – Venezuela’s fiat currency – he buys Bitcoin from LocalBitcoins and uses it to send money to family members, or cashes it out to the bolivar when its time to actually spend money on essentials such as groceries, or in the article’s example, a carton of milk.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Is A Hedge Against Bolivar-Induced Financial Suicide, Claims Venezuelan Economist
Many may wonder why someone would prefer to keep their spending money in Bitcoin when the price of the cryptocurrency has declined over 84% since it’s all-time high price of $20,000, however, bolivar’s annual inflation rate in 2018 was nearly 1.7 million percent. To avoid the value of the author’s funds from falling too much, he finds Bitcoin to be a safer method that better preserves its value.

Counter-Argument: Venezuela’s Reliance on Bitcoin Is Far Overstated
Recently, a counter-argument was made against the New York Times piece, penned by a journalist from Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. The author details how, despite conflicting reports and dominant majority trading volume on LocalBitcoins originating from Venezuela, the country is “not becoming a Bitcoin nation.”
The author himself previously published an article about “how Bitcoin is a lifeline for some Venezuelans,” he doesn’t want to “overstate the popularity of bitcoin in Venezuela.”
“And please don’t use our crisis to attract attention to your crypto campaign,” the author pleads.
The author claims that although the nation has its own native cryptocurrency in the oil-backed Petro, and many are indeed turning to Bitcoin, the country’s citizens are still generally confused by crypto, and don’t yet trust the asset class as a medium of exchange. Others outright think it’s a scam, or lack the technological infrastructure to even access cryptocurrency.
Related Reading | Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels
“Venezuela’s Internet continues to deteriorate, as the government manages most of country’s telecommunications concessions. Once you get far from the big cities it is even harder to get an good Internet connection. Smartphones, which tend to be priced in dollars, are even more expensive for Venezuelans now,” the author reveals.
In conclusion, the author believes that Bitcoin being a savior for the country has been overblown by the cryptocurrency community, and that Venezuelans would rather fight harder to earn income in their native fiat currency, and find other workarounds to deal with the government’s tightening grip that don’t include cryptocurrency.
The post Counter Argument: A Caracas-Based Journalist Says Bitcoin is Not Saving Venezuela appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Venezuela’s Petro: Fresh trouble surfaces as report suggests ‘conclusive evidence’ of money laundering

Venezuela’s oil-pegged cryptocurrency, Petro has drawn criticism from Venezuelan citizens, with many calling the digital asset a fraud, since it was created by the Nicolas Maduro-led government. In a recent technical report published by a Latin American exchange, suspicion was raised about the unknown origins of the funds Petro is infused with.
According to the Spanish news portal Verifikado, Maduro revealed that he raised $735 million, hours after the launch of Petro. After a couple of months, he announced the sale of a massive $3.34 million during the initial coin offering.
However, in the technical audit conducted by a Latin American exchange firm for the period of February-May 2018, it was found that none of the funds announced have any records on the blockchain.
With scores of human rights violations and anti-government protests around the country, it was not possible for the Maduro-led regime to draw huge funds from investors ahead of the crypto sale. The fact that Maduro was able to do so is a cause for concern as many allege that the Maduro government is guilty of money laundering.
The report, which was originally published in Spanish, said:
“..the mention of agreements with the ghost company “Aerotrading”, which does not figure in the ecosystem of development and neither on the Internet; In addition, the Zeus company dissociates itself from the agreements made, while the Venezuelan government is still naming the companies and the Nem foundation as the direct responsible for the integration of the Token [Petro]”
Additionally, at least eight accounts with irregularities have been cited in the report, including a ‘White Paper’ document which maybe have been a deliberate attempt to stage the document as a legitimate ICO paper.
Concluding the investigative piece, the author of the report, Julio Eduardo Cruces Carvallo, stated:
“..that there is conclusive evidence, reflected in the technical report, which points to the existence of an alleged crime of fraud. In addition to having conclusive evidence of the alleged fraud, there are also signs of money laundering in the public offer of Petro.”
The Maduro regime allegedly created an exchange for the sole purpose of trading BTC and ETH for Petro. Venezuelan citizens can purchase Petro with bolivars through this exchange at the regulator – National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities or Sunacrip’s offices.
The report further declares:
“The risk warning of an imminent economic collapse in the economy, if continued developing advances in the taxation of Petro, in economic sectors and savings staff of the citizens of the country, by means of a completely centralized and manipulable.”
 
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Source: AMB Crypto

Petro-Like Crypto Allegedly to be Issued in Russia, New Crypto Regulation on the Way

CoinSpeaker

Petro-Like Crypto Allegedly to be Issued in Russia, New Crypto Regulation on the Way

In March, Russian State Duma will review the regulation of cryptos. If approved, the new law will allow Russia to continue its development in the crypto sphere. 

Petro-Like Crypto Allegedly to be Issued in Russia, New Crypto Regulation on the Way

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Petro and Venezuela: Sunacrip starts regulating and taxing cryptocurrency remittances

Venezuela and its tryst with the field of cryptocurrencies has been ongoing for a long time now and with the advent of Petro and the passing of stringent laws surrounding it, it looks like updates about crypto will continue to occur.
The latest development from Venezuela is that the country has started regulating and taxing cryptocurrency remittances. The regulator, the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities or Sunacrip has set a monthly limit for remittances and will be collecting commissions of up to 15 percent of the transaction amount. One of the official decrees stated:
“The sender of the remittances referred to in this ruling is obliged to pay a financial commission in favor of Sunacrip up to a maximum amount of 15% calculated on the total of the remittance.”
Reports from within Venezuela have also said that the Sunacrip’s minimum commission rates are “equivalent to 0.25 euros per transaction”. The regulation also claims that Sunacrip now has the vested power to control key factors of the remittances. This includes establishing the remittance limits, specifying tariffs, setting values of cryptocurrencies in sovereign bolivars and requesting data from the issuers and receivers involved in the transactions.
Sunacrip was also in the news recently on February 4, when a decree establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Venezuela came into force. The release was called the “Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets”, which included 63 articles split into different sections. The Superintendent of Sunacrip even tweeted:
“Today the constituent decree that will govern the operation of the Integral System of Crypto Assets of Venezuela was published in Official Gazette Number 41.575.”
The remittance market being controlled by Sunacrip has not gone down well with the general public of the opinion that it is “the most absurd thing that anyone has ever seen”. Others voiced their disdain by stating that the new framework, as well as the centralized control of Sunacrip, actually hinders the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The post Petro and Venezuela: Sunacrip starts regulating and taxing cryptocurrency remittances appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

After All, Mysterious Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Petro Seems to be Real

CoinSpeaker

After All, Mysterious Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Petro Seems to be Real

Though there were a lot of doubts about the existence of the Petro, now it is obvious that this oil-backed crypto really exists.

After All, Mysterious Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Petro Seems to be Real

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin [BTC]’s trade projected to rise as Venezuela embraces pro-Bitcoin Interim President Juan Guaido

In the face of a continuing economic crisis, many in Venezuela have, for some time, looked for alternative assets, far apart from fiat currency. Bitcoin has for some time been such a refuge and it would seem that with new Interim President Juan Guaido taking charge of the affairs of the country, use of the cryptocurrency is only going to rise further.
Bitcoin has always been treated by Venezuelans as something like a safe haven asset, a digital asset that is untouched by government interference, devaluation or the risk of hyperinflation. And although cryptocurrencies themselves aren’t immune to hyperinflation, many Venezuelans believe they have more to offer when compared to the state of their national currency, Bolivar. The rise of Juan Guaido could be a boon in this regard as the new Interim President has for long been a proponent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In fact, he even tweeted out in support of a Bitcoin exchange that had opened in the country way back in 2014.
Source: Twitter
It’s not just Guaido who is a fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, however. In fact, President Nicolas Maduro has introduced Petro, a cryptocurrency native to the country back in February 2018 and one which would be backed by the country’s mineral and oil reserves. However, it was panned by everyone, from economists to his own people, with the then-rival Juan Guaido even saying that “Petro is just another way for Maduro to scam his own people.”  More recently, Petro was even hiked up to the value of 36,000 sovereign bolivars.
Such conditions, made worse by United States sanctions on the Latin American country have encouraged the growing use of cryptocurrencies across the country. In fact, the first Bitcoin ATM will be installed by the ATM manufacturer, Cryptobuyer in the first week of February in Caracas and is expected to serve thousands of Venezuelan citizens.
Source: coin.dance
Although signs for the cryptocurrency market in Venezuela are positive, a lot of it still depends on the political climate of the country. Cryptocurrency trading has been legal for quite a while now, however, Bitcoin and it’s like will receive a good boost if Guaido remains in power. The chances of that happening if Mathuro comes to power are the same as well however, there is also the possibility that he may disallow trading of any cryptocurrency except Petro, in an attempt to shore up the government’s cryptocurrency. Either way, the fortunes of the cryptocurrency market and its leaders remain entwined for the near future.
The post Bitcoin [BTC]’s trade projected to rise as Venezuela embraces pro-Bitcoin Interim President Juan Guaido appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

What Venezuela’s Power Struggle Could Mean for the Petro and Cryptocurrency

Following news of President Nicolas Maduro’s apparent ouster from power after three turbulent years in charge of Venezuela, there are indications that the ascension of his U.S.-backed opposition challenger Juan Guaidó could spell the end for one of the world’s most curious cryptocurrency experiments.
The Petro has been the source of significant controversy, with Maduro once proclaiming it to be the future of Venezuela, and critics pointing out that it never appeared to actually become operational at any time. While President Maduro has consistently maintained that the economic future of the country was inextricably linked to the government-backed crypto project, some believed that the much-publicized Petro ICO was little more than a means of raising hard currency by a cash-starved regime in charge of a country with the world’s highest rate of hyperinflation.
Yesterday, US President Donald Trump took the unprecedented step of announcing official American recognition for Guaidó – a stance that was quickly adopted by major regional powers including Brazil Colombia and Canada. With the announcement of U.S. support for Guaidó come a few interesting scenarios for the Petro and cryptocurrency usage in Venezuela as a whole.
U.S. – Backed Government Would Spell the End for the Petro
If Guaidó is successful in his bid to conclusively unseat Maduro, the Petro is almost certainly doomed to obsolescence because from the onset, it has been opposed by American authorities. During the ICO, the US government announced that it was illegal for American citizens to invest in it, and in fact, there has never been any evidence that the Petro was listed by any reputable exchange.
The entire reason for the idea behind the Petro was that US sanctions had not only weakened Venezuela’s economy significantly, but they also left the country desperately short of much-needed hard currency, which in part was responsible for the world-leading hyperinflation figures. The Petro was supposed to provide a new source of foreign investment for Venezuela that would bypass the global financial system which falls under the jurisdiction of American authorities due to the dollar’s de-factor status as global trade and reserve currency.
A withdrawal of sanctions and normalization of economic ties would render the Petro superfluous, and American authorities would also be eager to get rid of a project which made a brief if an unsuccessful attempt at challenging America’s global financial hegemony.
Possible Impact on Crypto Adoption in Venezuela
While the Petro’s prognosis does not look good in the event that Maduro is unseated, the same cannot necessarily be said for cryptocurrency adoption in general. Venezuelans are already among the world’s most prolific peer-to-peer cryptocurrency traders, and even normalization of economic ties with the U.S. would not be enough to convince them to drop crypto for fiat.
For one thing, there is unlikely to be an influx of investment on anything close to the scale needed for a full-scale economic revamp. In the absence of such investment, Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy will remain largely unchanged for the majority of the people, which means that the methods of transaction and value transfer that they have picked up over the past couple of years will remain in place for quite some time to come.
Coingape reported recently that Dash has made significant inroads into Venezuela’s consumer markets, tying up deals with retailers and Kripto Mobile, a South American mobile phone manufacturer that sells phones pre-equipped with the Dash ecosystem. Such innovation is unlikely to stop unless Venezuela is literally deluged in a flood of American fiat money – which does not look to be on the cards.
Regardless of whether the Petro survives or dies, it no doubts will remain an interesting reference point in the evolution of cryptocurrencies, and it may, in fact, have already spawned successors in sanction-hit countries like Iran.
Coingape will bring more updates on the Venezuelan situation as it develops.
The post What Venezuela’s Power Struggle Could Mean for the Petro and Cryptocurrency appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

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.
The post Petro [PTR]: Venezuela files complaint against US sanctions at the WTO; calls it ‘discriminatory’ appeared first on AMBCrypto.
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