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In This Issue
Latin America & The Caribbean
•METAVERSE: Brazilian hospital first to simulate surgery in the metaverse
•MINING: Due to immense losses, Paraguay’s National Power Administration to propose special crypto mining fee
•CBDC: China’s first CBDC loan backed by intellectual property
•NEW VENTURE: Former PWC crypto boss launches digital asset fund in Dubai
•SANCTIONS: Russians favor Dubai-based over-the-counter exchanges to avoid sanctions and restrictions
•COMPETITION: Binance’s market share in Russia sinks to new low
•PARTNERSHIP: African & German ed-tech platforms work together to bolster blockchain and web3 in emerging markets
•WEB3: First African web3 startup qualifies for Draper VeChain Accelerator Program
Latin America & The Caribbean
The Sabará Infantil hospital in São Paulo has completed the first simulation of surgery in the metaverse. The hospital developed an avatar, “Dr. Gigs”, with artificial intelligence to guide the procedure in the metaverse, identify if a student is doing something wrong during the procedure, and recommend if it’s necessary to repeat the procedure. The surgery was a biopsy on a child’s brain.
MINING: Due to immense losses, Paraguay’s National Power Administration to propose special crypto mining fee (2 minute read)
The National Power Administration (ANDE) of Paraguay has lost an estimated USD $2.9mm (G. 19,600 million) due to mining operators illegally connecting to the energy grid and evading payment. In response ANDE has proposed a special crypto mining fee to be paid in US dollars and has stopped supplying energy to the mining operators in question. Paraguay has experienced a boom in crypto mining since China’s mining ban and due to its low-cost energy. Last month Paraguay’s senate passed a crypto regulatory framework that is pending Paraguay’s president’s signature.
More Latin America & Caribbean News:
•Central Bank sees no problem with banks offering cryptocurrencies [Portuguese]
•Brazil CBDC trials: farm lending explored by Digital Asset, Oliver Wyman, VERT
•Gate.io announces arrival in Brazil and intensifies dispute between national and foreign Bitcoin exchanges [Portuguese]
•Brazilian company abandons fixed headquarters to work 100% remotely in the metaverse [Portuguese]
China’s Agricultural Commerce Bank of Zhangjiagang has issued the first CBDC (“digital yuan”, “e-CNY”) loan secured by intellectual property. The recipient, a regional manufacturer of environmental protection equipment for steel factories, wanted to experiment with CBDC borrowing where loan advances are deposited directly into their digital yuan wallet. As of May 31, 2022, the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, recorded 264 million e-CNY transactions totaling 83 billion CNY ($12.29 billion) since inception.
NEW VENTURE: Former PWC crypto boss launches digital asset fund in Dubai (2 minute read)
Former head of crypto for PWC, Henri Arslanian, has launched his own digital asset fund in Dubai, Nine Blocks Capital Management. The fund has received USD $75mm from its main shareholder and primary backer, Nine Masts Capital, a hedge fund based in Hong Kong. The decision to set up in Dubai demonstrates the city’s efforts to attract crypto businesses and establish itself as a global crypto hub over rivals Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
Want more Asia news?
•Israeli-Based FinTech Signs Partnership With Bahrain Fintech
•Bank of Thailand to launch CBDC pilot this year, unveils hackathon
•What Kazakhstan’s new tax regime means for the crypto mining industry
•Indian authorities freeze $8.1M in WazirX funds as part of AML investigation
Russians who have been targeted by western sanctions prefer over-the-counter (OTC) exchanges in Dubai. The OTC structure allows Russians to buy crypto in Russia with rubles and sell them for hard currency in Dubai. As opposed to centralized exchanges where trades can be tracked on the blockchain, OTC transactions are frequently conducted using offline crypto wallets, a.k.a. cold storage, where there is no public order book and allow Russians to convert cryptoassets with less of a paper trail.
COMPETITION: Binance’s market share in Russia sinks to new low (6 minute read)
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Binance maintained a dominant market share in Russia and controlled 62% of the market in August 2021. Although Binance’s market share in Russia is currently at an all-time low of 27%, it still has the highest volume of any single exchange in Russia. Two possible reasons for the decline are (1) fallout from western sanctions and/or (2) smaller exchanges collectively winning more market share.
African ed-tech platform, TechonomyAfrica, has partnered with German ed-tech platform, Ekolance, to strengthen the blockchain and web3 ecosystems in emerging markets. The partnership’s intent is to also improve the quality of life for talent in emerging markets by placing them in remote jobs with web3 companies from advanced economies, reduce the gap in demand for labor in the industry, and increase the number of women in blockchain and web3 jobs. The duo will provide free training for skills and roles in demand such as solidity development, content creation, and community management.
WEB3: First African web3 startup qualifies for Draper VeChain Accelerator Program (3 minute read)
Rounding off this week’s newspaper, Kenyan-based digital asset capacity building and management platform, Crypsense, has become the first African web3 startup to qualify for the 12-week Draper VeChain Web 3 Accelerator Program. Crypsense’s platform offers Learn to Earn (L2E) and Play to Earn (P2E) Learning Management Systems for Blockchain and cryptocurrency education. Crypsense Digital Group is a brainchild of the Africa Blockchain Center.
Want more Africa news?
•Binance CEO Meets the President of Central African Republic (CAR) – Talks Regulation, Investment, Education, and Adoption
•Cardano Invests in AfriGuild, a Nigerian Web3 Gaming Outfit
•The Kenya Copyright Board Issues Advisory Against Exploiting ‘Copyrighted Memes’ as NFTs
•The Celo Africa Web3 Fund Inaugural Event Kicks Off in Kenya
Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead!
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Written by Jon Lira. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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