Latin America and Cryptocurrency

in cryptocurrency •  last year

Latin America is witnessing an explosion of cryptocurrency usage, but the reasons are both surprising and expected. On the flip side of this, there are restrictive economic policies in some L. American nations that are hampering efforts to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream consciousness. Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil are pushing to adopt Bitcoin and with Bitcoin comes competitors. If Bitcoin does succeed in gaining widespread adoption in these countries, you will see the exact same thing in a kind of chain reaction with many other currencies entering the market. While some cryptocurrencies have already stepped forward to try to become a mainstay in L.America, Bitcoin is definitely having the most success. First of all, a representative microcosm of the nations that are adopting cryptocurrencies is Mexico, which has adopted Bitcoin fairly quickly and fairly well, having opened up a few exchanges with Bitso, MexBT and Volabit. Mexico is among the countries who are beginning to adopt Bitcoin because of an established yet growing distrust of their very own currencies. This paints a bright future for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in L.America. Cryptocurrencies allow citizens of these countries to buy and sell on a global market, trade goods and participate in an ever-changing world economy. Worth noting and extremely intriguing was the adoption of a digital currency that Ecuador rolled out in 2015 to actually support the U.S. dollar there, although it is very different from our cryptocurrencies in that it is centralized and controlled by their government. Since this digital currency operates completely contrary to how most cryptocurrencies operate, it is not of much importance to cryptocurrency except in one major way, that is that this shows that countries in the region are beginning to become interested in modernizing and revolutionizing their financial systems/institutions in favor of more practical and applicable options, which could eventually lead to more widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. This is almost paradoxical considering that the government of Ecuador still maintains a position against the use of cryptocurrencies.

NOW, to discuss the not so great things happening involving cryptocurrency in L.America. There are several nations that simply don't want to discuss, engage in or adopt cryptocurrency, the most stubborn and insistent among these is Bolivia. Bolivia as a matter of fact just arrested 60 advocates of cryptocurrency, as a “reminder” that the use of any currency not controlled by a government or government entity is prohibited. You use cryptocurrency? Great, off to the Gulag! Bullshit, I say, but the point is that there are still stark opponents of cryptocurrency out there and they treat it as an insidious parasite rather than an incredibly progressive system and economic advancement. The Bolivian government even went as far as to say that it is a Ponzi scheme and that by arresting these hooligans that they are doing the Bolivian people a service. Things like this should remind you that all the efforts of people working in cryptocurrency is still seen as villainous in some places around the world and we must continue to fight the good fight. There are nations that need cryptocurrency to survive, like Venezuela, for example, where political instability and oil prices dropping have caused an economic crisis where they have seen their Bolivar lose 99.7% of its value since President Nicolas Maduro was elected. Other nations refuse to admit that widespread cryptocurrency use is forthcoming, like Colombia who outlawed Bitcoin, but still wishes to tax it. That’s the literal equivalent of telling someone they can never ride the subway, but still charging them the price of a ticket for everyday they don’t ride the subway. See? It makes no sense and it’s quite clearly thievery.

There is hope for cryptocurrency in L.America because the usage trends show that people are beginning to want to use cryptocurrency and ARE using cryptocurrency more, regardless of what their government feels on the issue. This is a decentralized currency, and nobody can stop that. Not me, you, hackers, Vitalik Buterin, Satoshi Nakamoto or anybody else. This is happening, we are not afraid and these countries can choose to ride the wave or drown beneath it.

-Rico

Refs:

  1. http://bitcoinchaser.com/colombian-cryptocurrency-regulation-disaster
  2. https://steemit.com/money/@kasper/in-colombia-the-first-cryptocurrency-exchange-market-is-closed-by-the-controller
  3. https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-is-not-legal-so-let-us-tax-bitcoin-colombian-government
  4. https://techcrunch.com/2016/03/16/why-latin-american-economies-are-turning-to-bitcoin/
  5. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/06/ecuador-becomes-the-first-country-to-roll-out-its-own-digital-durrency.html
  6. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/top-10-countries-bitcoin-banned/
  7. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy-idUSKBN19N0X5
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This is a great post. Im glad to see someone writing detailed post with analysis about Latin America.

I do see how cryptocurrency will be adopted in a big way by many nations with runaway inflation.

Im looking forward to other detailed post about Latin America from you.

Steem on!

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Thank you so much, Carlos. It really means alot that you read and commented on my post. I will continue to follow and update on Latin America among a grand scope of other subjects. Thanks again

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No doubt bro. Its a no brainer your content is good and deserves the exposure and upvotes. Keep it up!

Extremely interesting article, thanks for posting.

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Thank you for reading, I just wanted to bring about a greater awareness of Latin America and the way it is evolving with cryptocurrency.
-rico

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Great post. Its true, Im from Argentina and I can tell you BTC is a life saver, once people realize this BTC price could skyrocket only because of us buying a lot in. (did you know argentinans are like the 2nd population in the world with more USD?, just because we dont trust our currency). Now, in BTC we shall trust!

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Really? I didn't know that Argentinians were the second largest population with USD. There are so many currencies in Latin America that do not have the trust of their own people because governments manipulate and ruin those currencies. BTC to the Moon!

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Yes, we actually call it an "investment" and it's the most common one here....to buy those green no value papers...

wow, didnt know about bolivia being that harsh againts crypto!

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The irony while communist country like china embrace Bitcoin

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well communism alone cant be the reason for embracing bitcoin. Evo Morales government seems to be focusing on different parts of economics, eg. coca production.

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Yes, it is all about control of the economy. Those who oppose Bitcoin think they can control the economy. This is how the Soviet style of command economics failed

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I guess you're right about that. Its not progressive not to embrace new ways of economy.

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Yeah it's crazy, isn't it? The attitude towards it over there is completely out of bounds and tyrannical.

great points , thanks for the info. In mexico I think you can add bitcoin on your bitso account at 7/11 and oxxo convenience stores which are everywhere.

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I've heard about that, I actually saw a place like that in LA when I was there. A little mini mart with a bitcoin atm. Pretty cool and convenient stuff.

If only a few countries legalise it, domino's will start to fall!
And fiat will perish!

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They will begin to see that the countries that adopt this currency are thriving and they will follow suit. It is only a matter of time.

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Lets just hope they take that option instead of more wars (which is the default way)...

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Would like to agree, but having lived in Latin America there will be a lot of resistance. Political leaders really dig in when they have power and have great control over a lot of aspects of everyday life. Anything that challenges will see a lot of backlash like the banks in the US.

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Hopefully the people can find a way to get out from under the government, but it will be hard because of exactly what you said, the government controlling so many aspects of their of everyday life. The key is to make sure that the people know and understand that cryptocurrency can help.

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Agree. Also, think it needs to take place under the radar for now. Once the opportunity becomes available it could expand and become too integrated for the government simply to dismiss.

I'm from Argentina and there is no way the government will recognize any of the cryptocurrency if they can not get taxes out of it! Anyway the argentinians evades 60% approx of the money.
and arround 99% percent of the population know nothing about Bitcoin
but anyway when the dolar dies the only option will be Criptocurrency, It will be soonner than later

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I wish the governments of my fellow Latinos would understand the needs of their people and would allow their people to thrive. Citizens are going to find a way to survive and these countries must decide whether they want to be on the right side of history.

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Don't feel education on this subject needs to be much more widespread though? I know there is a lot of lack of knowledge or misunderstanding in the US. In Brazil my friends were all upperclass and educated and few, if any, had any idea what cryptocurrencies were.

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There definitely needs to be a sort of outreach to these countries, in order to educate and inform about the actual uses for cryptocurrency. Absolutely.

They can't stop it, even though they will try with all their might. It is inevitable, and so much fun to watch. Just enjoy the ride. We are on the side of truth and justice my Friends!

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They truly cannot, and that makes me entirely too happy. Our movement pushes onward!

Great post. It is nice to see some news on Latin America. By far the biggest advantage would be to challenge the corrupt institutions, fight hyperinflation and make spending via tourism easier. By far the biggest challenges are legal and political. Whether right or left leaning, government's in Latin America have a long history of imposing great control over people's lives. Furthermore, at least in Brazil, energy is relatively high and prices inconsistent, which would impede mining efforts. Great post and definitely going to follow you!

My biggest hope for cryptocurrency in Latin America is that it will help reduce the inequities and corruptions in so many of the governments. It is time for a reset and power to the people.

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Hopefully it will happen. The thing with L.America is that historically there is alot of turn over, and it happens quite rapidly. There is usually some kind of revolt or corruption or clear violation of rights going on somewhere in the region and crypto is the way out of this vicious cycle.

I'm from Colombia and my government is full of thieves. Taxing without laws? unbelievable. They want all the gains and nothing of the responsibility.

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Hopefully, they will see the light and reverse course. I visited Medellin last year and it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever been, so vibrant. I hope they give their citizens a fair chance to take advantage of cryptocurrency. No taxation without representation.

I am Dutch and currently living in Brazil. I must say that not too many people know about crypto here. Also the rates to exhange from Real (the local currency) to Bitcoin and back is pretty steep..

I do believe that the Brazilian Real is under some pressure because inflation is quite high here and there is some history of hyper inflation so bitcoin is kind of a safe haven for the long term for peoples savings perhaps.

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I hope that cryptocurrency can come more to the collective consciousness of the Brazilian people. Hopefully, to escape the inflation you described people will find a way to invest and move their money to crypto, which can be volatile as well, but at least you can count on growth and it is not controlled by a small group of people looking after their own interests.

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Agree vipete, it is my experience too that few people in Brazil are aware of cryptocurrenices.

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Amazing text. I'm from Brazil and it's quite hard to find content and autors from here. There are amazing people trying to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream, your are one of them. Glad to have found your content!

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Thank you, my good man! I appreciate that, I am Latino so I will continue to do what I can for my people. If you like my stuff, it would mean the world if you follow, resteem and upvote! Have a great day, Thomas.

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Followed, upvoted and resteemed!

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Following you thomasmmaker. Lived in Brazil for 9 years. I have a ton of experience in market research on the country including consumer finance. Looking forward to research cryptocurrencies. Have you heard of NioBio Cash? Thoughts?

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I found this Niobio Cash some days ago and I did a little research on it. As far as I could see it looks a very interesting currency. Of course, I still need to do more research, but I think that if the coin is everything it claims to be, it will be a great way to introduce more brazilians to the cryptocurrency world.
Unfortunately here in Brazil people are quite close to this kind of inovation, and for sure they will not enjoy this Niobio in a first moment because of a lack of trust in national products, sadly. In my opinion, if this coin is trustworthy, in the long term it has a giant potential!

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Agree 100%! Os brasileiros adoram coisas estrangheiro. Would love to hear your thoughts about the team behind it. I like the idea of having some intrinsic value behind it. Brazil has a lot of wealth in natural resources. My friend in Manaus and I tried to import emeralds last year. Crypto and Blockchain could bring a lot.of security to this wild west industry. Follow me on steemit so we can share info. Ate mais

This is great news and I feel we will see central and south America use cryptocurrency as mainstream currency enavling all to use their smart phones to buy and sell local products and services.

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Hopefully one day!

Hi, since I'm from Bolivia need to point out something. the people who got arrested was related to ponzi groups as gladiacoin, bitcoincash, mr. crypto, and others. However, even the law was trying to understand what a Bitcoin is (I'm trying to believe they did they own research) authorities started a witch haunting pursuing Bitcoiners. Among them Bitcoin cash, the worse from my point of view, didn’t even delivered a single BTC nor satoshi to their customers. One of the heads of this group was captured carrying 10 MM of USD, yes ten million on his car while trying to run from justice.
What latin American people needs it’s to get involved and get real info about what a Bitcoin is, in fact I do have problems with my own family who doesn’t want to know about it. The worse they think I’m wasting my time. Anyway, I do believe cryptocurrency will take its place finally in several years. That’s why I’m still here… trying to get more familiar with Blockchain and its uses.
Cheers

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Thanks for replying and for clearing that up! Keep being persistent, alot of people will not understand what we do, but we do it for a reason and it is already important. I will be writing more on Latin America soon! Follow me if you would like, I try to post every 1-2 days.

I think cryptocurrencies will do good in third world countries.

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The potential is definitely there to reduce hyperinflation, bring in more FDI and split the power of politicians and banks. Let's hope!

Nuestros colaboradores

La Fundación BitcoinLatina trabaja con la Cumbre de Impacto Latino, una plataforma asociada con las Naciones Unidas, Fundación PÚBLICA y Fundación Cala, para reunir a líderes, políticos, millennials, filántropos, empresarios y empresarios latinos y juntos alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS)

Trabajamos con universidades, el Cuerpo de autorregulación de Tokens & Exchange, Topia Technology y Augmate. Así como con BlockPay en BitShares y con la blockchain de Ethereum. Nos asociamos con GameCredits / MobileGo y PeerCoin para ayudarlos a expandirse a América Latina con un servicio complementario. También con la Asociación Mexicana de Ciberseguridad, la Red Mundial de Cooperativas de Crédito, Hello Otto, ProjectICO y Stokens.
https://bitcoinlatina.org/es

Great post! I would love to hear more. The fact that crypto's are being adapted is just fantastic. But I am very much interested to hear more. Do regular people use crypto's? how many people? How are crypto's exchanged? Can you buy like, a car with it? How high are the exchange fees? How do they cope with the transaction fees?
This is so exciting.

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Omar, maybe you could do an interview with a local adopter, user? That could be so interesting.

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Well, the exchange rates, for example, of BTC to the Brazilian Real are very high, so there are still many roadblocks ahead in L.America. In Mexico, regular people use Bitcoin for their everyday things, they even have Bitcoin ATMs in little convenience stores over there. They have about four major exchanges in Brazil and another four major exchanges in Mexico, as well. The other countries in L.America are lagging a bit but they will catch up. I will continue to update, so if you would like follow, resteem and upvote, I won't disappoint.

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Thank you for the reply.
"In Mexico, regular people use Bitcoin for their everyday things"
How does it work exactly? Maybe an example. For example I buy a burrito for 3USD. They just use a smartphone wallet to pay? What about the transaction time? Also I find it hard to imagine someone paying f.e. 0.50USD transaction fee to buy a 3USD burrito