According to Bloomberg, the Vice-President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, recently announced that passport issuance fees can only be paid in the government-created cryptocurrency Petro as of November 1, 2018. The official wallet is already available in Google Play store, but the people will not be able to use it until November 5th. Moreover, the Petro will be tradeable on some of the biggest exchanges, such as Binance and OKEx.
Additionally, the fee of a passport has increased to 7,200 ($115.77) bolivars to get a new passport. In November, this will increase to two Petros for a new passport and 1 Petro for an extension. The move comes at a time of mass emigration from Venezuela due to its deep economic crisis. What’s interesting is that What is worth mentioning is that the average monthly minimum wage in Venezuela is four times less than the cost of the increased passport fee. According to Blomberg the reason for the high fees could be due to the scarcity of the passports.
The use of cryptocurrency is the latest move by Venezuela to control the side-effects of inflation and a crippling economy by using cryptocurrencies to circumvent capital controls.
Latin American newspaper El Universal sighted Rodriguez as saying: “in the case of Venezuelans who are abroad, until the first day of November the cost will be $200 for issuance and $100 for extensions.”
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has stated that the cryptocurrency would be the cornerstone to help the country get out of economic crisis. However, a report by Reuters found that it is not a “functional financial instrument”.
Furthermore, there arises some controversy about the digital viability of the Petro. The core developer of Ethereum Joey Zhou pointed out in a Tweet posted last week that petro has allegedly plagiarised parts of its whitepaper from the GitHub repository of Dash. This generates a question mark whether the Petro will be able to do some meaningful work in helping the country get back on its feet.
Venezuela’s mass emigration & Economic crisis
Giving you a brief background of Venezuela’s currency which is facing downward spiral these days. Since the start of this year Venezuela’s currency, the Venezuelan Bolívar, has fallen by more than 99 per cent. In stark contrast, the opposition-led Congress estimates that the annual inflation is 200,000 per cent.
It seems that the raising of the passport fees is an attempt to stop locals from fleeing the country. According to the United Nations, around 2.6 million Venezuelans have fled the country, with most of them heading to other South American countries. From that figure, about 1.9 million have left since 2015, under Maduro’s governance.
Bitcoin under $4000
Bitcoin is crashing again in crypto market along with other cryptocurrencies, as Bitcoin again dipped under $4000 mark.
2018 will be remembered as one of the worst years for crypto currencies, after spectacular boom of crypto market in 2017 in terms of adoption and increase in market cap, this year so far has proven to be the opposite of that, Crypto market cap reached the level of $800 billion at the start of 2018 and now the total worth of crypto market is $125 billion which shows more than 80% of decline in overall market cap.
Bitcoin dipped below the level of $3500 few days ago and now market is crashing one more time, shows that bottom is still not here and we are far away from bottom as of now, market dynamics are changing, shows that all the speculators in the market are taking a big hit from this bear market.
It will be interesting to see, how bitcoin will survive this crucial time period, but the biggest question is, where is the bottom? because according to many analysts in crypto market, bottom lies somewhere between $2000-$3000
India’s largest Mobile & Internet industry forms Blockchain Committee
India is promoting the blockchain ecosystem in the country and the latest move in this regard is the country’s influential internet and mobile industry association has formed a committee dedicated to the decentralized (blockchain) technology.
India’s most-read business daily the Economic Times reported, with the new blockchain committee, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is batting an eye on the government to widen the blockchain industry and startups. India’s most-read business daily the Economic Times report.
The focus is to use blockchain technology to facilitate job creation and reduce the unemployment rate in the country. This will give a boom to the new digital economy in the country, the report added.
The new committee within the influential non-profit will be chaired by Tina Singh, digital chief at private lending giant Mahindra Finance.
She told the publication:
“Blockchain is undeniably the technology of the future, slated to bring decentralization and trust and accountability into multiple areas of business. However, in order to be more effective and enter the mainstream, blockchain technology needs the intervention of government bodies, regulatory authorities, and corporates.”
The committee includes several includes many well-reputed executives of major corporate giants spanning tech and financial sectors such as Microsoft, Mastercard, IBM and HDFC Bank, India’s biggest private bank.
Interestingly, the committee also includes Sandeep Goenka, founder of major Indian bitcoin exchange Zebpay. The app-only exchange was among India’s earliest and largest exchanges until it closed trading services less than a month ago. However, Zebpay continues to provide a wallet service to users, the exchange said it was “unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business” following the central bank’s comprehensive ban that bars banks from providing services to exchanges and the wider crypto sector.
Despite the ban and less viability on the cryptocurrency sector, which remains unregulated, the formation of the blockchain committee proves the consistent effort to integrate the groundbreaking tech into wider society.
The IAMAI Blockchain Committee will focus on creating dialogue between all stakeholders; curate and create content to aid skill development and move towards creating a participative economy with the usage of blockchain.”
BTCC Chinese Crypto firm plans to start its services in South Korea
BTCC, China’s first cryptocurrency exchange, has planned to expand its services in South Korea on October 31, 2018.
Initially known as BTC China, the cryptocurrency trading exchange was one of the largest in the world in terms of trading volume. However, owing to China’s crackdown on crypto trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs), the exchange was asked to shut down its services in the country in September last year and transferred to Hong Kong in January 2018.
According to a report, BTCC’s Korea operations will be headed by Lee Jae-beom. He said that BTCC Koplannedaned to highlight a new vision of cryptocurrencies. The exchange will first launch its beta services this month, with the official debut set for November.
Furthermore, the exchange stated that it will provide not only the trading, buying and selling services to its customers, but it also plans to create own a wallet, a mining pool, and a consumer payments service. However, there is still no information about the coins listed on an exchange. On the South Korean version of its website, the company has not yet specified which coins will be supported on the exchange.
Commenting on the launch, Lee said: “Cryptocurrency exchanges are facing a turning point due to a downturn in local exchanges while global exchanges are making a leap here. BTCC Korea will be able to present a new strategy and vision of crypto exchanges.”
The report said, BTCC also plans to expand its services and it wants to achieve this via strategic tie-ups with local and global firms. Recently, the company announced that it had joined hands with Defytime, a producer of anti-ageing products. The partnership will helpDefytime to adopt blockchain in healthcare products.
In Hong Kong, BTCC offers a range of services and products for trading to a global customer base. In particular, the exchange facilitates the trading of five cryptocurrencies against the USD – BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and DASH. In addition, BCH, ETH, LTC and DASH can also be traded against BTC.
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