BitPR Weekly Crypto Highlights: Latin American Crypto

Week 4 Jan 2019
28 Jan 2019

Every so often, crypto news makes us smile. Like last week, when a crypto exchange in Korea airdropped $5 million in Bitcoin by accident. Talk about a digital money shower.

In more serious news, we’re seeing more evidence of cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America. More than a few countries in that region have phenomenally mismanaged their economies or have seen eye-popping inflation rendering their currencies nearly worthless.

Critics often argue the inadequateness of crypto as money, but in some Latin American countries crypto is starting to look very adequate indeed. These trends support our (and others’) predictions that crypto will begin by showing its usefulness in countries with unstable currencies and economies.

Read on below for more.

 

South Korean Exchange Accidentally Airdrops $5 Million in Bitcoin

Source: CoinDesk

Christmas came a month late for some Korean crypto users.

CoinZest, a crypto exchange platform based in South Korea, accidentally airdropped Bitcoin worth around $5.3 million to their users. According to Coindesk Korea, the exchange actually meant to airdrop We Game Tokens (WGT).

In a frenzy to cash out their sudden good fortune, the lucky airdrop winners dumped their undeserved BTC on the CoinZest exchange, causing a flash crash. There is more to this story (link above), but these are the funniest parts.

 

Latin America Cryptocurrency Adoption Could Blast Prices Higher

Source: Blockonomi

Countries in Latin America have seen higher crypto adoption rates. 2017 saw a 1,000% rise in crypto usage in Venezuela, and a 450% increase in Brazil. Cryptocurrencies such as DASH have taken on the role of money in Venezuela.

Some attribute crypto adoption to citizens’ distrust of governments and national currencies. According to the OECD, 75% of citizens in Latin America show little or no confidence in their governments.

New crypto mobile apps are being designed for those who don’t have expensive smartphones. An apparent need is designing low-cost solutions for crypto payments. Ultimately, mass adoption will occur if crypto becomes more accessible to those that really need it, especially in underbanked populations.

If cryptocurrencies can help drive financial inclusion and prove itself as a medium of exchange in these regions, it could potentially signal adoption across the developing world.

 

London Stock Exchange Tech to Power Hong Kong Digital Assets Exchange

Source: Cointelegraph

LSEG Technology, the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) tech provider, is partnering with a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange platform. The new digital assets exchange, AAX, will use LSEG’s matching engine, known as the “Millennium Exchange.” The technology offers low latency and scalable technology currently at work in traditional exchanges such as the LSE, Borsa, Italiana, and Oslo Stock Exchange, among others.

The partnership aims to overcome concerns over security and market manipulation. It also seeks to address the statement from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on the need to hold crypto exchanges to a licensed trading venue’s standard.

This is potentially a sign that the industry is maturing, which could help bring in more institutional investors, increase volumes, and possibly reduce volatility since institutional investors consider longer time horizons.

 

Nasdaq CEO: Crypto Could Still Become ‘a Global Currency of the Future’

Source: Cointelegraph

Adena Friedman, President of Nasdaq, Inc., wrote in a recent LinkedIn post that cryptocurrencies deserve “an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.” This follows Nasdaq’s belief that crypto will have a role in the future. Friedman believes that there are two possible outcomes for the crypto today: either it will find greater practical utility and eventually reach its economic potential through steady progress, or it fails to achieve the goal of mass adoption and will have limited applicability as a medium of exchange.

Friedman remains hopeful but presses on the need to secure a transparent and fair crypto exchange market. She adds that for crypto to progress, there must be “governance and regulatory clarity.”

 

Cboe Exchange Withdraws Proposal for VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF

Source: CoinDesk

The Cboe BZX Exchange withdrew its proposal that would have allowed them launch Bitcoin ETFs backed by VanEck and SolidX. The withdrawal happened amid the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) delays in arriving at a decision for Bitcoin ETFs.

Gabor Gurbacs, Director of digital asset strategy of VanEck, told Coindesk that the withdrawal of the proposal is only temporary. Talks with the SEC will continue before they submit their proposal once again. The US Government shutdown fueled speculation that the ETF would be denied, which may have been another reason that the application was pulled. The government is now re-open, but quite possibly only for another 3 weeks, after which we could see another shutdown.

Looks like the game of waiting and watching will continue.

 

Check back next week for more bite-sized crypto highlights!

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