Posted on

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume to Highest Since November

Trading volume on Finnish peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange platform LocalBitcoins hit the highest level since November 2018.

Trading volume on Finnish peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin (BTC) exchange Localbitcoins hit a high not seen since November 2018, reveals data shown on cryptocurrency analytics website CoinDance.

According to data from CoinDance, LocalBitcoins global weekly bitcoin trading volume hit $65.6 million in the week ending on Sunday, July 7. This is the highest level since November last year when the weekly trading volume of the platform hit $67.7 million in the week ending on Sunday, November 24, 2018.

LocalBitcoins Global Weekly Trading Volume

LocalBitcoins Global Weekly Trading Volume | Courtesy of CoinDance

In some countries, last week represented an all-time high LocalBitcoins volume. For instance, in Argentina, last week the platform’s trading volume hit a new high of over 15.22 million Argentine Pesos (over $364,000). 

Venezuela also saw over 47 billion in Venezuelan Bolivars traded, the highest volume to date. Worth noting, however, is that the volume has actually been decreasing in BTC terms, highlighting the rampant hyperinflation plaguing the country. 

Nevertheless, the rise in volume has not gone unnoticed. Senior market analyst at stock exchange Etoro Mati Greenspan pointed out in a tweet sent earlier today that the current levels are at their highest since November last year and commented:

“Peer to peer bitcoin trading is strong atm.”

Previously, LocalBitcoins lost a portion of its traders after quietly removing in-person cash trading from its service at the beginning of June. The company publicly confirmed the ban on Twitter and stated that the platform had to renounce local cash trading to “adapt to the current regulatory environment.”

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of June, P2P bitcoin trading platform Bisq is seeing record trading volumes after Localbitcoins removed in-person cash payments.

Posted on

Social Network Taringa! Launches Stablecoin Rewards for 27 Million Users

South American social networking giant Taringa! is launching a stablecoin-powered points system for its 27 million users.

Latin American social networking giant Taringa! has partnered with MakerDAO and e-wallet provider Airtm to launch a stablecoin-powered points system for its 27 million strong user base. 

According to an official Taringa! news release published on July 7, the development was revealed on Friday during the Blockchain Summit Latam in Mexico City.  

The pilot program, dubbed “Taringa! Pioneers,” will reportedly reward users with points for creating popular platform content, which can then be monetized by being converted into MakerDAO’s Ethereum blockchain-based stablecoin DAI

Taringa!’s news release places a strong accent on the program’s potential to offer users a secure and stable store of value, as well as financial independence from governments. 

The social network notably has significant traction across a region in which multiple countries have been experiencing hyperinflation — such as Argentina and Venezuela. 

E-wallet provider Airtm — which enables users to convert their national currencies into cryptocurrencies and other forms of money — has likewise underscored the importance of decentralized solutions for finance within the Latin American regional context. 

As previously reported, Taringa! Is no stranger to the crypto sphere, partnering with wallet provider Xapo to launch a bitcoin-based revenue distribution system for users as early as 2015.

Taringa! — often characterized as Argentina’s answer to Facebook for the Spanish-speaking world — has evidently opted for a non-proprietary stablecoin solution, as distinct from Zuckerberg’s latterly-unveiled Libra cryptocurrency project.

In mid-June, unconfirmed reports indicated that South American online marketplace Mercado Libre would operate as a node in Facebook’s future Libra network.

Posted on

Hodler’s Digest, May 27–June 2: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Kik has launched a Defend Crypto campaign, while Facebook’s crypto coin could face some demographic challenges.

Top Stories This Week

Kik Launches $5 Million Crypto Funding Campaign for Lawsuit Against U.S. SEC

Kik, a Canadian tokenized social media startup, has launched a $5 million crypto initiative in order to fund a lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Kik CEO Ted Livingstone, also the founder of Kik’s crypto project the Kin Foundation (KIN), announced the formation of the Defend Crypto fund, which plans to legally challenge the SEC to get regulatory clarity surrounding the definition of securities in regard to cryptocurrencies. The fund will use major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase’s custody service. The DefendCrypto campaign comes in the wake of the SEC’s actions against Kik’s $100 million initial coin offering (ICO) sale held in 2017, after which the regulator said that it had violated securities laws.

Report: Circulation of Facebook’s Crypto Could Face Demographic Challenges

Facebook’s payment-focused cryptocurrency, reportedly called GlobalCoin, could face demographic challenges, according to research from crypto analysis firm Diar. According to Diar, Facebook’s long-rumored native cryptocurrency that will reportedly launch in 2020, could face the aforementioned challenges due to the aging demographics of the social media giant’s user base. The older generation that uses Facebook reportedly does not have enough awareness about digital currencies, and Facebook’s younger user base purportedly is not wealthy enough to use the rumored coin in a significant way. Diar also noted that Facebook will need to enter into partnerships with traditional financial institutions.

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High Versus Argentine Peso Amid Presidential Election Risks

Bitcoin (BTC) has hit an all-time high versus the Argentine peso during the ongoing decline of the country’s national currency. According to the Financial Times, bitcoin’s price reached as high as 394,000 pesos ($8,801 at press time) per coin, which are prices that have not been seen since the crypto spike in late 2017. Bitcoin’s all-time high in Argentina comes during a crypto bull market this year, in conjunction with the ongoing depreciation of the Argentine peso against the U.S. dollar. In fact, earlier this year, venture capital billionaire Tim Draper had advised the president of Argentina to legalize bitcoin so that economic situation in the country could improve.

North Korea Launched Cryptocurrency Attacks in Response to Sanctions, Says FBI

According to a senior FBI official, U.S. sanctions incentivized North Korea to launch cyberattacks involving cryptocurrency. Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, said at an event this week that the financial strain brought on by sanctions meant that North Korean state actors had turned to cybercrime as a way of bringing in money. Cointelegraph has previously reported that Pyongyang is suspected to be behind several major campaigns involving cryptocurrency ransomware and theft in recent years. Erin Joe, director of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center under the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said at the same event that there is a “huge effort in the FBI, and also several other entities across government, looking at ways to stop malicious activity (surrounding) cryptocurrency.”

Cryptocurrency Broker Client Reportedly Aims to Acquire 25% of All Bitcoin Supply

Forbes reported this week that digital currency investment firm Dadiani Syndicate was reportedly approached by a wealthy client to buy as close to 25% of the bitcoin supply as possible. The firm, a peer-to-peer network where people trade with each other in crypto, made news last year when it put 49% of Andy Warhol’s 1980 work “14 Small Electric Chairs” up for sale for bitcoin and other digital currencies. This week, the firm’s founder said that “one of our clients approached us and said they were interested in acquiring 25% of all bitcoin currently available. There are a number of entities who want to dominate the market.” However, Dadiani noted that acquiring a quarter of the current 17.7 million BTC supply would not be possible without significantly affecting the market.

Winners and Losers

The crypto market is slightly down, with bitcoin at around $8,448, ether at $262 and XRP at $0.44. Total market capitalization is at about $269 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are crystal token, doge token and mindexcoin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are cyberfm, soundac and agrolot.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“In the modern world, the real killer app is clearly messaging integrated with payments with popular applications in the same namespace — like WeChat in China, and what Facebook is turning into. […] It’s WeChat with blockchain inside.”

David Chaum, E-cash inventor

 

“You’re starting to see that these currencies have real use cases around the world, and it’s making people really excited now because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel for these use cases.”

Sonny Singh, chief commercial officer of BitPay

 

“The amount of cash in circulation is declining in some countries. This could mean that one day, even if it seems like a distant prospect — every single person will have to have an account with a private entity just to make payments. Unfortunately, this may lead to increased levels of financial exclusion.”

Vitas Vasiliauskas, chairman of the board of the Bank of Lithuania and a member of the Governing Council of the ECB

 

“We have to make sure that if we offer a dex that we’re doing it in a way that is safe and secure and compliant. I think that there’s not a lot of clarity right now on how that would work. We think this space is interesting but we’re not actively investing in it right at this moment.”

Emilie Choi, Coinbase’s chief operating officer

Prediction of the Week

Kenetic Co-Founder: Bitcoin to Trade at $30,000 by Late 2019, Regardless of Bitcoin ETF

Jehan Chu, co-founder of Hong Kong-based blockchain investment firm Kenetic, predicted that bitcoin (BTC) will rally as high as $30,000 by the end of 2019. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Markets: Asia, Chu said that bitcoin will continue its bullish direction in line with the rest of the crypto market in 2019 due to three factors: mass adoption by institutions like Facebook, JPMorgan, Rakuten and Fidelity, the crypto industry’s ability to become a “better tech story” about the Uber and Lyft IPOs, and the upcoming bitcoin halving.

FUD of the Week

Computer Researcher Finds Wallet Vulnerability That Gave Same Key to Multiple Users

According to an investigation by security research Harry Denley of MyCrypto, online cryptocurrency paper wallet creator WalletGenerator.net previously ran on code that caused private/public key pairs to be issued to multiple users. The bad code was reportedly in effect by August 2018, and was only patched at the end of May of this year. After researching the live code for the website on GitHub, Denley concluded that there were differences between the code, finding that the keys were deterministically generated on the live version of the website, not randomly. After being contacted by Denley, WalletGenerator.net reportedly fixed the determinism problem, even though it purportedly said after that the allegations could not be verified, and even asked the correspondent if MyCrypto was a “phishing website.”

President of Germany’s Central Bank Warns of Serious Outcomes of Digital Currencies

Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany’s central bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank (BBk), has warned central banks about the potential risks of introducing digital currencies. Weidmann, who is the BBk president as well as chairman of the board of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), reportedly said that banks adopting digital money could potentially destabilize the financial system during periods of crisis. In his opinion, easy access to digital currencies could facilitate a collapse of lenders, and would even “fundamentally change the business model of banks” in a good economic environment. He also put forward the idea that easy access to digital money has the potential to lead to increased volatility.

Researchers Say 50,000 Servers Worldwide Infected With Privacy Coin Cryptojacking Malware

An analysis by international hacker and cybersecurity expert group Guardicore Labs has revealed that as many as 50,000 servers worldwide have allegedly been infected with an advanced cryptojacking malware. The malware in question mines privacy-focused, open-source cryptocurrency turtlecoin (TRTL). The campaign was first detected in April, with Guardicore Labs finding that the malware has infected up to 50,000 Windows MS-SQL and PHPMyAdmin servers over the past four months worldwide. The expert group states that the malware campaign is not the usual crypto-miner attack due to its reliance on techniques commonly seen in advanced persistent threat groups, including fake certificates and privilege escalation exploits.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Cryptocurrency Mixers and Why Governments May Want to Shut Them Down

After the high-profile shutdown by Europol of one of the most well-known cryptocurrency mixers, Cointelegraph looks at the reasons behind the shutdown, as well as examines the scope and reality of the anonymity behind mixers themselves.

Iran’s Crypto Barometer — Regular Users Feeling the Heat

As Iranian users lost access to popular online service LocalBitcoins, Cointelegraph dug more into the relationship that the country has with cryptocurrency, both from a state and citizen level.

Bitcoin’s Overnight Crash Doesn’t Stop Experts From Remaining Macro Bullish

As the top cryptocurrency reached new yearly highs, before briefly dropping back down, Cointelegraph correspondent Joseph Young analyzes the market outlook.

Posted on

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High Versus Argentine Peso Amid Presidential Election Risks

The bitcoin price soared to as high as 394,000 Argentine pesos as major investors worry that a populist former president could return to a position of power.

The biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin (BTC), has hit an all-time high versus the Argentine peso amid the ongoing decline of the currency, Financial Times (FT) reports on May 27.

According to the report, the bitcoin price has soared to as high as 394,000 pesos ($8,762.95 at press time) per coin, exceeding prices versus the Argentine peso not seen since the bubble in late 2017.

Bitcoin price against Argentine peso since 2017. Source: BitcoinAverage

Bitcoin price against Argentine peso since 2017. Source: BitcoinAverage

The new all-time high of bitcoin versus the peso takes place amid a crypto bull market this year, along with the ongoing depreciation of the Argentine peso against the U.S. dollar.

According to CNBC charts, the U.S. dollar has seen a massive growth over the peso during the past year. The new lows in the value of Argentina’s currency are reportedly caused by uncertainties in the upcoming presidential election.

U.S. dollar price against Argentine peso. Source: CNBC

U.S. dollar price against Argentine peso. Source: CNBC

Despite the recent attempt to support the Argentinian economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the country’s central bank having allowed to use IMF funds to intervene in the peso, some analysts are reportedly concerned that the program could fail if the populist opposition wins the presidential election in October, as FT reported.

While investors support the current President Mauricio Macri, the opposition — in which former leftist president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is running as a deputy to presidential candidate Alberto Fernández — has reportedly introduced a “democracy discount” to the peso.

Major global asset manager Amundi reportedly said that asset prices have reacted “very negatively” over the past month to the growing chance of Kirchner returning to power.

As FT noted, the peso dropped to new lows against the dollar in April, following a loss of more than half of its value last year, when both the peso and Turkish lira dropped amid investor expectations of rising U.S. rates.

Earlier in March, venture capital billionaire Tim Draper advised the president of Argentina to legalize bitcoin in order to improve the economic situation in the country.

Posted on

Coinbase Now Supports Another Stablecoin, MakerDAO’s Dai

Major exchange and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase has added support for Ethereum-based stablecoin Dai in most jurisdictions.

Major cryptocurrency platform Coinbase now supports stablecoin Dai (DAI), according to an official press release on May 23.

Coinbase says that the token can be purchased and sold, sent and received, and converted or stored in most jurisdictions on its platform, with the exception of New York, for now.

DAI is designed to maintain a 1:1 value with the U.S. dollar, but is backed collateral on the MKR platform. Both Ethereum-based token MKR and DAI are issued by MakerDAO.

However, DAI has been worth under $1 for much of 2019, which has sparked five voting sessions from DAO users on raising the stability fee for reclaiming collateral, in an effort to keep the token closer to its intended value of $1.

Coinbase recently announced that its cryptocurrency payment processor, Coinbase Commerce, will now support the stablecoin USDC. The addition of this stablecoin support will reportedly allow users to receive payments without transaction fees by receiving money in USDC.

In the announcement, Coinbase also commented that USDC payments circumvent the need for a bank account or geographical limitations.

Coinbase has also greatly expanded its geographical support for trading as well as its educational program Coinbase Earn, with the former being available in 50 new countries and the latter in over 100 new countries.

According to Coinbase, giving trading support in more countries catalyzes the future of world-wide crypto trading, and stablecoin options could have great impact for some countries in the immediate future:

“For new customers in countries like Argentina and Uzbekistan, where consumer prices are expected to inflate by 10–20% in 2020, stablecoins like USDC could provide an opportunity to protect against inflation.”

Posted on

South American Startup Ripio Rolls Out Crypto-Fiat Exchange and OTC Desk

Latin America-based cryptocurrency startup Ripio has launched a trading platform, including an over-the-counter desk.

Latin America-based cryptocurrency startup Ripio has launched a trading platform, including an over the counter (OTC) desk, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 16.

Ripio’s newly launched platform will enable its customers in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico to trade cryptocurrency to fiat, use digital banking services, and request blockchain-based loans. The product also includes an OTC desk for institutional investors.

Commenting on the product roll out, Ripio’s founder and CEO Sebastian Serrano said that “cryptocurrency, and our new platform in particular, offers brand-new investment horizons for all segments of the population. This is especially important in Latin America, where savings must be protected against the constant devaluation of local currency.”

Founded in 2013, Ripio claims to be the largest digital asset company in Argentina, with its current expansion to other South American countries like Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Colombia.

In late 2017, Ripio raised more than $37 million through its initial coin offering (ICO) in a bid to launch the Ripio Credit Network, a peer-to-peer credit network based on Ethereum smart contracts.

As reported in late March, Argentina’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Felix Martin Soto, claimed that the government should address crypto and blockchain tech as a way to promote Argentina’s financial inclusion and reduce state costs.

Soto stated that he believes that promoting crypto industry in the country will help to reduce its demand for United States dollar, which will eventually contribute to stabilizing the local market and attracting global investment.

In March, Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, met with crypto investor and entrepreneur Tim Draper. Draper told the president that the legalization of bitcoin (BTC) would improve the economic situation in the country. According to Draper, crypto and blockchain adoption in the country can disrupt major problems in Argentina’s economy, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso and the associated brain drain.

Posted on

Hodler’s Digest, March 25–31: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

This week saw the hacks of several large cryptocurrency exchanges, while the SEC pushed back their BTC ETF decision.

Top Stories This Week

Owner of ICO That Never Happened Attempts to Sell Project on eBay for $60,000

The owner of a crypto-related startup dubbed Sponsy, which never launched its initial coin offering (ICO), is attempting to sell the project on eBay for $60,000. The project is described as a blockchain-related identity that is able to launch both an ICO and a security token offering (STO), with the author of the posting claiming that the project was both audited by an investment firm and approved by several investment banks. Sponsy also claims to have a solid social presence, although its Twitter and Facebook page posts have around ten likes on average. The eBay poster noted in an interview that he lost out on the ICO craze by taking time to develop a product, rather than first launching an offering.

Over 130-Year-Old Liquor Company William Grant & Sons to Track Whiskey on Blockchain

Premium scotch whisky brand Ailsa Bay, which is owned by William Grant & Sons (WG&S), a liquor company founded in 1887, is set to launch what it claims to be the world’s first scotch whisky tracked on the blockchain. According to the company, the whisky will be tracked in collaboration with blockchain firm arc-net, which will develop the new products and a system to track manufacturing from distillery to store. The reason behind the blockchain tracking is to prevent whisky counterfeiting in the United Kingdom, as well as allow the firm to gather data on both existing and potential customers by employing location systems for the purchases.

Tim Draper Urges Argentina’s President to Legalize Bitcoin to Improve Economy

When speaking to Argentine president Mauricio Macri, crypto bull and investor Tim Draper said that the legalization of Bitcoin (BTC) in the country could help improve their economic situation. During the meeting, Draper noted that the use of blockchain and crypto could help improve major economic problems, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso (ARS). Draper also reportedly proposed a humorous bet, stating that if the peso would be valued more than Bitcoin, he would double his investment in the country, but if BTC became higher than the peso, Argentina would have to declare the crypto a national currency.

Weiss Crypto Ratings Puts Bitcoin Aside EOS and XRP in Annual Outlook

The newest Weiss Crypto Ratings and given top cryptocurrency Bitcoin an “A,” along with Ripple (XRP) and EOS. In the report, which was based on an analysis of 120 cryptocurrencies, letter grades were assigned based on an evaluation of the possibilities for adoption and technology. XRP received the “A” ranking as it is well-positioned to compete with global interbank system SWIFT, while EOS was noted as making a solid attempt to become the “backbone of the new internet.” Bitcoin’s “A” ranking was due to its Lightning Network upgrade and use as of store of value. However, another ranking based on risk and reward factors failed to give any cryptocurrencies an “A.” The three currencies are followed by Ethereum (A-) and Cardano (B+).

 Crypto Exchange Bithumb Reportedly Hacked of Almost $19 Mln in EOS and XRP

Crypto exchange Bithumb reported this weekend that they have experienced a hack of an unknown amount, and are currently working with various law enforcement on the issue. The exchange notes that withdrawals and deposits have been temporarily paused, and that the loss does not affect users’ funds, but only those of the exchange. Unconfirmed reports state that around 3 million EOS (around $12.5 million) and 20 million Ripple (about $6.2 million) are the funds lost. The company’s post about the hack indicates that it was an insider job, but the details are as of yet unspecified.

Winners and Losers

The crypto market has ended with week with Bitcoin well above $4,100, Ethereum is at $143 and Ripple at about $.31. Total market cap is $144 billion.

Top three altcoin gainers of the week are AICHAIN, BBSCoin and HondaisCoin. Top three altcoin losers of the week are Luna Coin, Crowdvilla Ownership and Coinonat.

Winners and Losers

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“All of the big tech companies will come and say blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it.’”

Catherine Bessant, Bank of America (BoA) chief technology officer

 

“If Quadriga was licensed under the Bermuda Monetary Authority, what has happened would not have been able to happen, because we have rules regarding the custody of master keys and making sure they’re not held by a particular individual.”

David Burt, Premier of Bermuda

“One of my theses here is that the cypherpunks’ attempts to get into the money business forced them to realize some other things along the way. And [one of those things] is that money is a fundamentally social thing in a much deeper way than, say, two-party encrypted communication You have to start thinking about governance, social contracts, common shared expectations in this community, how do changes get made, how do we decide how changes get made, how do we discuss things. These are all very political things.”

Vitalik Buterin, speaking at the RadicalxChange conference

 

“I do believe that the regulators right now are a little careful about just rubber stamping anything as it relates to crypto. You are going to have to have an offering that the regulators are going to have to get comfortable. And I think it is hard to get comfortable with something that is so new like this.”

Terry Duffy, CEO of United States derivative market CME Group

 

“What we are seeing is a collection of standards being created [that] will inevitably converge over the next three to five years to create a situation where you can move information and value between all these different systems ー not just Bitcoin to Litecoin to Ethereum to Cardano ー but also your regular bank account.”

Charles Hoskinson, a founder of IOHK, the firm that developed cryptocurrency Cardano (ADA)

Prediction of the Week

Sharp Bitcoin Rally in 2019 Unlikely

According to Emmanuel Goh, a former JPMorgan Chase derivatives trader and founder of crypto data firm Skew, Bitcoin is unlikely to recover its former five-digit highs in 2019. Goh has noted that, according to options traders, there is a five percent chance that Bitcoin will reach $10,000 by September of this year. The trader also noted that there is even a $20,000 call option for this June, but the probability of BTC reaching that price is zero, as it was likely a “bullish trade that was made last year when investors were still discussing the short-term possibility of making new highs.”

FUD of the Week

US SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETF Applications From VanEck and Bitwise

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed its decision on a rule change to the Securities Act that would allow the listing of Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF). According to the latest notice, the SEC has extended the period to 90 days, after Bitwise’s Feb. 15 application reached the end of its 45-day time period. According to the extension, the SEC must now reach a decision on the rule change by May 16, 2019. The two firms, NYSE ARCA and Bitwise, had announced their recent plans to launch Bitcoin ETFs in January, with the former intending to launch five separate ETFs linked to both bull and bear futures contracts on NYSE Arca. The SEC has also extended its decision on the VanEck/CBOE Bitcoin ETF

Analysts Claim CoinBene Transactions, Recent Activity ‘Consistent’ With Exchange Hack

Elementus, a blockchain infrastructure firm, published details of recent transactions at crypto exchange CoinBene that they consider to be suspicious in the wake of a presumed hack. After $105 million in crypto was moved from the exchange’s hot wallet this week, CoinBene had assured users that it was a period of unforeseen maintenance responsible for the suspicious activity. Elementus has noted that they are not contradicting what CoinBene has claimed, but that their findings are consistent with the modus operandi for how hack are normally carried out, as the amount of crypto transferred is large and was quickly sold.

Android Malware Targets Users of 32 Crypto Apps, Including Coinbase, BitPay

According to research, a new strain of Trojan malware for Android phones is now targeting the global users of cryptocurrency apps including Coinbase, BitPay and Bitcoin Wallet, as well as banks including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Cybercrime analytics firm Group-IB noted that this is the first time that the Trojan, dubbed Gustaff, has been reported or analyzed, and that it is described as being designed for mass infections and spread by SMS messages linked to load malicious Android package kit files. The group notes that the malware’s creators have made a system that increases the scale of thefts by triggering autofills of payment fields for legitimate Android apps to maliciously reroute transfers to the hackers.

Best Cointelegraph Features

The Lightning Torch: How the Community United to Teach Jack Dorsey About Feeless, Rapid Off-Chain Transactions

After Twitter’s Jack Dorsey joined the Lightning Network Torch recently, awareness of the second-layer solutions both benefits and drawbacks have become more debated in the crypto ecosystem. Cointelegraph examines how the LN has changed over time, and how Dorsey’s reference to the technology has brought it more into the public eye.

Indian Street Protests for Cryptocurrency

After the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on crypto dealings last year, the crypto community is coming together again, this time in the form of a series of blockchain supporter rallies held across the country. With the fourth rally set for Bangalore, Cointelegraph looks at the possible public impact of this movement.

Meet the 21 Year-Old Entrepreneur Trying to Sell His Failed ICO on Ebay

After an eBay listing for a cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related project was posted with a price tag of $60,000, Cointelegraph reached out to the lister himself to find out what happened with the project that led him to sell it online in this particular format.

Posted on

Argentina’s Dep. Finance Minister: Crypto Adoption Could Reduce Demand for US Dollar

Huobi’s CEO met with senior Argentinian finance officials to discuss the role of blockchain and crypto in the country’s economy.

Huobi Group CEO Leon Li met with senior Argentinian finance officials this week to discuss the role of blockchain and crypto in the country’s economy, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 29.

In a meeting in Beijing, Argentina’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Felix Martin Soto, claimed that the government should address crypto and blockchain tech as a way to promote Argentina’s financial inclusion and reduce state costs.

Soto, who leads Argentina’s international financial relations, explained that half of the country’s population does not have bank accounts and operate cash transactions by converting their savings to United States dollars.

Soto stated that he believes that promoting crypto industry in the country will help to reduce its demand for USD, which will eventually contribute to stabilizing the local market and attracting global investment.

In a delegation meeting that also included Argentina’s Director-General of the Bilateral External Finance Bureau, Javier Matias Mana, the parties also discussed a potential expansion of Chinese exchange Huobi to Argentina. Soto elaborated:

“We would like to learn how to participate in cryptocurrency and blockchain industry from Huobi. […] Through tokenization on Huobi’s platform, for example, Argentina’s plentiful agricultural, mineral and energy resources could be well financed by global investors.”

The finance official concluded that “[w]ith Huobi’s expertise in blockchain and cryptocurrency, Argentina can accelerate its pace to digital assets era.”

The news has followed a recent meeting between Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, and crypto investor and entrepreneur Tim Draper.  The notorious crypto bull told the president that the legalization of Bitcoin (BTC) would improve the economic situation in the country. According to Draper, crypto and blockchain adoption in the country can disrupt major problems in Argentina’s economy, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso and the associated brain drain.

Founded in China in 2013, Huobi is a major global crypto exchange, currently ranked 12th largest globally by adjusted daily trading volume. Despite a massive bear market in 2018, the exchange recently reported a 100 percent growth in trading volume in 2018 over 2017.

However, recently, Huobi announced that Huobi’s Australian subsidiary will be operated by a team at Huobi Global’s Singapore headquarters due to poor market conditions and associated recent staff redundancies at Huobi Australia.

Posted on

Tim Draper Urges Argentina’s President to Legalize Bitcoin to Improve Economy

American VC investor Tim Draper has met with Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri to discuss the economic prospects of the country.

Crypto bull Tim Draper has given advice to the president of Argentina to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) in order to improve the economic situation in the country, Cointelegraph en Español reports March 22.

The American venture capital investor reportedly met with Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri on March 20 to discuss the economic prospects of the Latin American country.

During the meeting, Draper spoke about the potential of emerging technologies such as blockchain and crypto for improving major problems in Argentina’s economy, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso (ARS), as well as the associated brain drain.

Cointelegraph en Español quotes Draper as saying:

“We were speaking of Bitcoin and the devaluation of the peso, and I proposed a bet: if the peso would be valued more than Bitcoin, I would double my investment that I was making for the country. But if Bitcoin gained a higher rate than the peso, they would have to declare it as a national currency. That would be a perfect decision, as there’s a lack of confidence in this coin.”

Following the meeting, Draper explained his pro-crypto stance in an interview with María Julieta Rumi, noting that he believes Bitcoin and blockchain are even a greater revolution than the internet. Draper stated that it is now a good time to adopt the technology in Argentina, arguing that this will provide complete changes in banking, commerce, and financial systems.

In the interview, Draper also reiterated his bullish stance on Bitcoin, predicting that Bitcoin will be worth $250,000 between 2022 and 2023, and will account for 5 percent of the global share of all the markets. He elaborated that as soon as people are able to easily use bitcoin, just like pesos or dollars, they will choose bitcoin because it is “decentralized and open, frictionless and global.”

In February, Draper argued that in five years, fiat money will be used only by criminals.

Meanwhile, Argentina has recently been friendly to adopting new developments in the blockchain and crypto space. In early March, the government of Argentina agreed to co-invest in blockchain projects that are backed by Binance Labs and Latin American crypto exchange LatamEx. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also hinted at the establishment of a new fiat-to-crypto exchange in Argentina.

In February, Argentina settled an export deal in Bitcoin, selling pesticides and fumigation products worth of $7,100 to Paraguay. The purchase was paid for in Bitcoin and then converted into Argentine pesos to settle accounts with the exporter.