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In This Issue
Latin America & The Caribbean
•ADOPTION: One year since adopting Bitcoin, El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment is met with mixed reviews
•INFRASTRUCTURE: MetaMask integrates with Pix, Brazil’s instant payment system
•VENTURE CAPITAL: Singapore’s Whampoa Digital to invest $100 million in early stage web3 startups
•REGULATION: India’s Finance Minister urges IMF to take the lead in regulating crypto
•ADOPTION: Russia’s central bank may legalize crypto cross-border payments, state media
•ADOPTION: Russia developing stablecoin-based cross-border settlement platform, state media
•FUNDRAISING: Nigerian crypto startup raises an additional $1.65 million
•PARTNERSHIP: Nigeria, Binance, and Talent City in talks to develop Africa’s first Virtual Free Zone
•EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Blockchain Academy to be Launched in El Salvador – Launch Event Tuesday September 13
Latin America and The Caribbean
Not quite the tech utopia imagined, last week marked the one year anniversary since El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, but not replacing the US dollar. The collapse of last year’s high prices has scared local El Salvadoreans from investing in the digital asset, surveys have shown that few people continue to use Chivo, the country’s official digital wallet, the central bank said that only 2% of remittances were sent through crypto wallets, and the IMF has delayed approval of a $1.3B loan due to the risks that Bitcoin poses. However, the national government is still claiming success, arguing that Bitcoin adoption has attracted foreign investment, helped tourism returned to pre-pandemic levels, and increased access to financial services to the country’s unbanked population.
INFRASTRUCTURE: MetaMask integrates with Pix, Brazil’s instant payment system (1 minute read, original article in Portuguese)
MetaMask, one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency web wallets, has integrated with Brazil’s instant payment system, PIX. Brazilians can now buy cryptocurrencies directly from their wallet vs. an exchange. The crypto payment provider MoonPay is managing the bridge between MetaMask and PIX.
Want more Latin American & Caribbean news?
•Brazilians break record and buy almost $1 billion in cryptocurrencies in just one month (Portuguese)
•Henrique Meirelles, politician and former banker, is Binance’s new advisor (Portuguese)
•Credix, Fintech DeFi, receives BRL 60 million; among investors is the president of Itaú (Portuguese)
•Real Digital tests with DeFi have already started and CBDC should be launched in 2023 reveals Central Bank of Brazil (Portuguese)
The digital assets arm of Whampoa Group, a Singapore-based private investment group, has announced that they intend to contribute $100 million in early stage web3 startups. CEO of Whampoa Group, Shawn Chan, said that the fund may launch next quarter. Aureole Foong, senior partner at Whampoa Group said web3 startups involved in DeFi are starting to find uses such as in the remittance of money and the entertainment industry, and offer huge long-term growth potential.
During a meeting in New Delhi last week with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, urged the IMF to take a “a lead role” in cryptocurrency regulation. Minister Sitharaman tweeted that the two “discussed the significance of [regulating] crypto assets and the need to have a globally coordinated, synchronized approach on the issue.” Her statement echoes a previous call in April for a global crypto regulatory framework during a meeting with the IMF and World Bank and emphasized that global coordination is needed to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Want more Asia news?
•U.S. Recovers Over $30 Million in Cryptocurrency Stolen by North Korean Hackers
•Asia banking giant DBS jumps into The Sandbox metaverse
•China Central Bank Launches Digital CNY Smart Contract Prepaid Fund Management Product
•Hong Kong metaverse startup Animoca raises $110m amid crypto winter
Russia’s Ministry of Finance and Central Bank are rethinking their approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and have said that based on current conditions, “it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency”. Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia, Alexei Moiseev, believes that Russia may legalize crypto-based cross-border payments in the near future. A regulatory framework still has not been introduced in Russia and would have to be before crypto-based cross-border payments are legalized.
ADOPTION: Russia developing stablecoin-based cross-border settlement platform, state media (1 minute read, original article in Russian)
Following up on his comments on legalizing crypto-based cross-border payments, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia, Alexei Moiseev, has announced that Russia is working with other “friendly” countries to develop a clearing platform for cross-border settlements in stablecoins backed by real assets and not in euros or dollars. Moiseev suggested that the stablecoins could be pegged to assets, such as gold, which are generally acceptable and where the value is clear and observable. The platform is only in the concept phase and will require additional regulation before a solution is launched.
Want more Eastern Europe news?
•UK Obliges Crypto Exchanges to Report Suspected Russian Sanction Breaches
Nigeria-based peer-to-peer exchange and remittance platform, Bitmama, raised $1.65 million in a pre-seed round, bringing the total funds raised so far to $2 million. The company’s growth objectives include expanding its operational presence, strengthening teams across different markets, consolidating its product offerings, and entering new markets across Africa. Bitmama has around 70K customers across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is seeking a partnership with Binance and Talent City for Nigeria to develop a Virtual Free Zone similar to the Dubai Virtual Free Zone. NEPZA’s Managing Director, Mr. Adesoji Adesugba said, “Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zone to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy.” Attendees at the meeting with NEPZA include Nadeem Ladki, Binance Executive Director, Regional Strategic Partnerships, Sameera Kimatrai, Binance Senior Legal Counsel, Luqman Edu, Chief Executive of Talent City, and Engr. Sikiru Lawal, NEPZA’s Director of Projects & Procurement.
One of the leading schools of design thinking in Latin America, the Monica Herrera School of Communications in El Salvador, in cooperation with the Ayadee Foundation and Blockchain Central America DAO, will be holding a launch event for its Blockchain Academy on Tuesday, September 13. The school plans to use its design thinking expertise, combined with blockchain content from Ayadee and the Blockchain Central America DAO, to create the next generation of practical, customer-focused tools for Central America. The program will be funded and governed through participation in the Blockchain Central America DAO as well as the purchase of Verified Impact NFTs. – Guest post by Peter Johnson, Founder of The Ayadee Foundation
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