Certificate instead of crypto? Venezuela starts selling Petro!

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On Monday, October 26th, Venezuela announced that the government’s issued cryptocurrency – Petro, is open for the public for purchase. The government has opened an exchange desk for the country’s national cryptocurrency at the headquarters of the Superintendency of Cryptoassets. It can be purchased directly from there (Superintendency of Cryptoassets) and from Related Activities (Sunacrip), which is in charge of the country’s regulations regarding crypto. Citizens can purchase Petro with many currencies, including cryptos like BTC, ETH, and XEM. 

Petro Pago and Petro Ahorro

Initially, the public sale was issued on November 5. However, the president Nicolas Maduro moved the event forward due to “the fluidity with which events developed and the support of President Nicolás Maduro,” says El Universal. Moreover, on November 5, two more Petro options will be unveiled – Petro Pago (pay) and Petro Ahorro (savings). Venezuela’s vice president of the economy, Tureck El Aissami said: “We are in the purchasing stage. Next week will be the savings stage.”

Certificates, seriously?

Chinese delegate showing off his Petro certificate.

That all sounds like good news, the Venezuelans can finally store their money in a safe place, but there is one but. People buying Petro receive certificates instead of crypto. The documents include the buyers’ name, signature, and fingerprints. There is no info on the fact that people would receive actual cryptocurrency. There are even photos with Venezuela’s Minister of Agriculture buying Petro and later posing a picture holding up the certificate, which would mean that it doesn’t consist of a private key. 

Is Venezuela scamming its residents?

You can buy Petro with real money like the Euro, USD, and Yuan and in return, you get… a piece of paper.

That somehow reminds me of that monkey story about how the stock market works, which is very similar to this situation:

“Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. That renewed the efforts of the villagers, and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each, and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort even to see a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers; “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35, and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.” The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!”

Is Petro even real?

Some say that Petro doesn’t exist, due to the facts that you don’t get a private key, their block explorer is barely moving, consisting with only 316 blocks(while the block time is one minute), and that you can’t get any information on the transaction details. Also, Google has suspended the Petro wallet app from the Google Play app store. El Assami explained that this is because Google is checking the wallet crypto functionality. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you cannot download the desktop version for Windows and Linux as well.

All this leads up to the fact that Petro could not be real. Could this all just a show for the wider public?



Photos by Canva.com and the Venezuelan government.

Coinbase competitor Ethos paving their road to fiat gateway with a new partnership!

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Yesterday, September 27, Ethos.io and Voyager Digital Holdings formed a strategic partnership to bring fiat-to-crypto and vice versa trading to Ethos universal wallet users and to enhance wallet solutions and self-custody on Voyager’s retail and institutional platforms. 

On Voyagers’ side, this partnership would improve their wallet functionalities and self-custody optimization while on the Ethos side of the partnership this formation would improve the current Ethos wallet user experience by allowing seamless converting, storing and trading their digital assets, all on one platform, thus being one of the first platforms to do so. With the help of Voyager, Ethos universal wallet users will be able to covert fiat to the Ethos token and vice versa.

Voyager on the other side, will integrate Ethos Bedrock for self-custody on their platform along with the Ethos Universal Wallet in their offerings. All this is done to enhance the Voyagers’ plans to launch their own mobile trading app in Q4.

“With this transformative partnership in place, we believe we are offering the first end-to-end, fully integrated solution in the crypto asset space,” commented the CEO of Voyager, Stephen Ehrlich.

And Shingo Lavine, the CEO of Ethos said that “Voyager gives our users the power of fast, commission free trading, using their smart order router and liquidity network. For Ethos Universal Wallet users, this means that a low-fee fiat gateway will be a future enhancement, first for our U.S. clients and then rolled out globally,” adding that “this partnership creates a true bridge between traditional and institutional finance within the crypto-asset market to create a dynamic and borderless financial ecosystem.”

The way how I see it.

Referring to a recent announcement by Coinbase, on their willingness to implement as many as possible assets to their platform, I believe that this was a strategic move done in the result of this already mentioned partnership. I think that when Coinbase found out about this partnering, they immediately understood that Ethos could become a major competitor. So they went out on CNBC Fast Money to announce their new “idea”, which Ethos has been promoting since the day they rebranded. Since Coinbase most definitely has more users than Ethos, Coinbase would grab the market with ease, while Ethos still has to gain trust in the hearts of its users since their app is currently pretty useless. All this also applies to the new Coinbase updates on educating their users with Informational Asset Pages and Coinbase Learn. Since Ethos is offering their users a similar service, all this is sort of coming together. Ethos is a serious competitor to Coinbase, and Coinbase just acknowledged it by their premature announcement, which a lot of users have been waiting since the beginning of this year.

Hopefully, these two platforms could co-exist in the future, and the fiat-to-crypto gateway goes as smoothly as planned.



Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange launch fiat to crypto exchange

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Yesterday Binance LCX, a joint venture between Binance and LCX, announced the launch of a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Liechtenstein. Binance will provide and maintain the technology platform, while Binance LCX manages customer support, legal requirements, due diligence, KYC, AML and government communication, says in their press briefing. The exchange will offer trading between Swiss Francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR) against major cryptocurrencies pairs, and add more trading pairs overtime subject to regulatory approval. 

“I believe Binance LCX will create a sustainable and reliable fiat-crypto gateway for professional and regular investors alike. I hope Binance LCX will drive new standards for usability and compliance for the blockchain industry, and we are very excited to bring the relevant experience and best practices to grow our team at Liechtenstein,” said Changpeng Zhao, CEO & Founder Binance.



Venezuela will use “Petro” as a second accounting unit

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Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced that Petro, the national oil-backed cryptocurrency, will be used as a second accounting unit of the Republic.

The statement says: “As of next Monday, Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the Petro. It will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA oil industry.”

The government plans to introduce a new salary and pricing system for goods and services that are chained to the Petro. This will substantially improve the income of the workers and will help the maximum retail price to reappear.

Starting from August 20, Venezuela will have two government currencies, the Petro and sovereign bolivar, the latter of which will be indexed to the former. The sovereign bolivar will take five zeros away from the current national currency, the bolivar fuerte, in an eventual monetary reconversion.



The author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” predicts the future of money

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“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is a best-selling finance book, sold more than 32 million copies, written by Robert Kiyosaki. 

Mr. Kiyosaki is warning us of an economic crash like “the world has never seen before”. He is about to do an Australian tour sometime this month, but for now he is not that certain when the crash is going to take place, but the “foreshocks are sounding right now”.

The dotcom bubble happened in 2000s, next came the subprime real estate crash in 2008, and “the next crash is going to be the biggest of them all”, says Mr. Kiyosaki.

He says that the U.S. Constant printing of money, called the quantitative easing, is inflating a large bubble, but when it comes to Bitcoin, he says that “it is a wonderful idea”.

“I talk about three types of money today. One is God’s money, which is Gold and Silver, they will be here after the cockroaches go extinct. It will always be here. Then there’s government money which is fiat currency the dollar, the Yen, the Euro. And then there’s people’s money, which is cyber currency. I think the dollar is toast because Gold and Silver and cyber currency are going to take it out. The US dollar is a scam”, he said, “I think we’re watching the end of the dollar. That’s what I’m saying”.

“I’ve always been a gold bug. My latest book coming out is called “Fake”. There’s so much fake money. In 1971 Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard and the US dollar became fake money,” he said.

That is a pretty vivid image painted there by the best-selling author. The question that remains unanswered is about other fiat currencies. One is the death of the U.S. Dollar which is being printed all the time, but what will happen to the Japanese Yen or Russian Ruble, for example, after the USD crash? But one thing is for certain, which Robert Kiyosaki already mentioned – Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are the “people’s money”.



BitDegree adds additional payment models, fiat is one of them

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BitDegree is a platform for online educational courses for variety of industries. These courses are, as they say, affordable and also for free. 

Until now, you could have bought those courses only with BDG tokens, but now BitDegree have added BTC/ETH and even Fiat payment methods.

BitDegree claims that based on their web-site traffic and real-world interest, their platform is one of the TOP ICO projects of all time, with more that 12k daily visits. That is a strong statement, taking the fact that the price of the token has only plummeted since the day it came out.

“We’ve already launched BDG token payments and started selling our first paid courses on the platform. What we noticed in the weeks that followed was that the barrier of entry for many students was too high. The BitDegree Token only payments left a lot of our daily users confused. However, this problem is not only native to BitDegree, it’s a problem for cryptocurrency altogether”, says in their blog post, “The majority of everyday users do not know what cryptocurrency is. This is the problem with blockchain, it’s a new technology and lacks mass adoption, user education.”

Hopefully with the help of this newly added fiat gateway, BitDegree students will start fully using the platform and the courses. But that leaves a strong “But” behind. What will happen to the price of BDG token? Will it die out? If the team itself understood that for this kind of a platform an implemented token just confuses its users, and they need a more widely accepted form of payment. And after all – aren’t we all distancing ourselves from the “fiat” world? Now it just looks like BitDegree has found out that their product doesn’t work with cryptocurrencies, as they say themselves: “To purchase a BitDegree course if you don’t already own cryptocurrency looks something like this.

  1. Creating a digital wallet that can support BDG tokens.
  2. Buying ETH or BTC with fiat on an exchange.
  3. Exchanging your ETH or BTC for BDG tokens from one of the available exchanges.
  4. Transferring your BDG tokens to your wallet.
  5. Getting a wallet address from BDG, sending your tokens to us and waiting for the course to unlock”.That is a whole lot of steps to go through just to get my online course. Then again – couldn’t they have anticipated this problem in the early stages of production? Somehow I think this is going to be the major problem for lost of lots of ICO’s. 



Binance to offer Fiat-Crypto trading

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One of the worlds leading crypto exchanges, Binance, just announced their plans of allowing fiat-crypto trading. Clarifying that Binance itself stays a crypto-to-crypto exchange, adding that crypto-fiat trading will be only available though a separate local exchange the company is opening in Malta. Announcements of opening such an office came already at the end of March, when Binance received a warning letter from the Japanese financial authorities about its unregistered status. 

In an exclusive interview with the Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, he told that they have already opened a bank account in Malta and that they have plans of offering similar exchanges in Uganda and Asia in the future as well. In a recent tweet to the Prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, Changpeng Zhao shared his thoughts on Malta: “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech. We think it is a good place for other crypto businesses to look into as well”.

Binance will most likely start crypto-fiat trading with a Euro-BTC pair. Binance is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange by now, seeing $1.5 billion in trades by 24-hour trading volume.