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Adoption of Cryptocurrency: Taking Ripio in South America as a Case Study

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Cryptocurrency can never reach its potential until there is a massive adoption in various forms of our everyday life by various people, of different class and varying income levels

Generally, humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people’s limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true. Because we tend to see things in our limited knowledge

That’s the case of the perspective of different people on crypto today, where some have seen great opportunities others insist on seeing a scam,  risk and uncertainties, even some business savvy billionaires are still sceptical about the future of cryptocurrencies; the likes of warren buffet.

In South America, there is also a difference in opinion on cryptocurrencies, from enthusiastic adoption to total disinterest, the South Americans are seeing cryptocurrencies with mixed reactions. Their dispositions aren’t really different from other enlightened parts of the world.

The Southern American region

Argentina is a country in South America and a potential to be a hotbed of cryptocurrency activities, but the biggest challenge amongst other ones peculiar to the south American region rests on its fairly unstable economy. In Argentina, 32% of people are estimated to be living under the poverty line. This is due to the shortfall in salaries, that cannot match the annual inflation rate the peso of more than 50%. Many simply can’t afford to risk their keeping their savings in their local currency at the risk of watching it fall in value. Due to the high inflation

This is said to be one of the reasons why some south Americans are buying into the cryptocurrency ideas.

According to an ad in Buenos Aires subway tunnels by Ripio. It is said that “250,000 Argentines have already bought bitcoins with us,” claims

Ripio is said to be among several other beginners who are betting that the time is right for cryptocurrencies to cut across major areas in Latin America. And it appears that Argentina’s unique economy makes it the perfect place to lead a vast adoption of crypto

Other countries that its citizen use cryptocurrency to protect themselves from the depreciating value of their country’s currency include Venezuela that has been hit with various sanctions by America leading to great economic woes, like Argentina a lot of their citizens have turned to crypto to alleviate their predicament. Using it to protect their savings.

Also, in Argentina the Governments relative openness to cryptocurrency has helped shaped Buenos Aires into an attractive zone of development, their government’s openness to blockchain projects has helped shape Buenos Aires into an attractive zone of development.

The general disposition of everyday people

Despite all the progress a lot still needs in convincing everyday people to adopt the use of cryptocurrency in that region, especially by creating more user-friendly, trustworthy systems with clear advantages over the traditional and familiar dollar notes.

What Repio seeks to achieve

Ripio is really putting enough effort in this one, for the Latin Americans, presently, he is developing what it hopes are easy-to-use tools for buying, selling, trading, investing, and spending cryptocurrencies.

Although cryptos are a bit fresh to travellers and sailors, Ripio’s six-year-old company, which was originally called BitPagos, has managed to make its mark as a market leader in this regard

In 2017, BitPagos moved its attention from merchants to consumers and rebranded it to Ripio. It now has 300,000 users in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico (about 85% of them are in Argentina).

Today, Ripio offers users a cryptocurrency exchange and software “wallet” for storing their digital monies. Similarly, it has also started a service that uses smart contracts or blockchain-based computer programs which are useful for automation of complex financial transactions. This is in a bid to facilitate peer-to-peer lending based on the Ethereum blockchain. Allowing South Americans to have access to loans in local currency without having to pay high fees to a bank.

Education and its impact

To make crypto more adopted by people, a lot of work needs to be done in educating people on what it means also in providing resources to people on how they can going about using it, this knowledge will play a major role in sensitizing otherwise novices about what it’s all about increasing the potential  of them becoming users of these various platforms which in turn will make them bring more people into the system,

Ripio has made this their agenda as well especially in Argentina with plans to unveil a new system which would combine these packages and a few new ones alongside educational content like articles, videos, and tutorials.

According to them, “The service is born out of the goodwill in assisting Ripio users the access to “the new economy.”

Juan Mendez, the company’s chief brand officer, stated that “We understand that the economy is changing, that banks are digitizing, and we want to be there in that moment to offer access, financing, and investment options”.

The company is staking its bet that crypto-assets will play a major role alongside more traditional financial services. Hence it wants to provide a central place to find all the options.

Stablecoins and its impact

The use of stable coin has helped to reduce the issue of volatility that most new users have with crypto, these coins maintain their value with the USD this helps users to make their transactions without the fear that their hard-earned savings will be impacted during a bear season this has played a huge role in making more people to adopt crypto

All these Important moves have played a major role in boosting adoption, but it’s not a piece of new information that the battle is far from being won, because despite the making cryptocurrencies more appealing and user-friendly to the average consumer.

They’re still the issue of trust, the uphill battle convincing everyday consumers in South American to trust a ‘new form of money’.

Despite massively overcoming the challenge of making a lot of more people understand the technical concepts of crypto all the good work is still being truncated by the unpredictable price fluctuations of crypto

This challenge has been fixed by the use of “stable coins,” which are designed to maintain the value of stable government-backed currencies like the US dollar.

Platforms like Ripio, for instance, tackled this issue of the volatility of crypto through the availability of stablecoins to their users, Ripio added a stable coin called Dai to its exchange and wallet, to go alongside Bitcoin and Ether.

Now, South Americans have the option of making use of the easy-to-use, easily accessible digital version of the dollar which is readily available to everybody in the continent.

Having stable coins has reduced the need for South American to queue up to acquire and to physical dollars and also risk keeping large sums of it on other or in their houses which will make them vulnerable to being attacked by thieves.

Also, Customers of Ripio, for instance, do not have to endure the stress of going to the streets for dollar exchange, it’s as easy as just going to the nearest convenience store to load pesos into their wallet to buy Dai. Later on, they could even spend them online and also use Ripio’s service to change them back into their local currency and purchase items from the popular e-commerce sites.

This can easily be replicated in other parts of the world, especially developing countries.

The success of dai, which has Many in Argentina has begun to use Dai, majorly as a form of remittances or store value. Is lesson to everyone But MakerDAO does not intend to stop there according to them the vision is more elaborate than that they believe that “decentralized” banking could broaden access to financial services, not just in Argentina but all over the world.

Bitcoin ATMs and acceptability by retailers

Bitcoin ATMs are scattered across the continent, however, there is a little indication on the streets of Buenos Aires that a crypto-infused future will be here any time soon. Most merchants have added cryptocurrency stickers on their storefront windows alongside those for Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. This has eased the use of crypto as a means of payment since many Paying with cash is still common, and many retailers offer discounts for doing so. Though it’s becoming more common for merchants to also accept QR code payments via a service called Mercado Pago, all in South America.

Cryptocurrency is making a major progress in South America, despite its numerous challenges, but their success should serve as a motivation for other companies to invest and push for adoption in other developing continents like Africa, especially those with very high number of unbanked citizens by taking a cue from Ripio and its progress in South America.

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What Coinbase Visa Supported Debit Cards Means for Mass Crypto Adoption Drive

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US cryptocurrency exchange company Coinbase has reportedly acquired the principal membership status of financial services giant, Visa to issue visa supported debit cards to users. 

The membership status was officially granted to the exchange operator in December last year but revealed recently making Coinbase the first cryptocurrency company to be awarded such a membership. And having the power to issue debit cards for other firms including cryptocurrency firms. 

This debit card will allow users to spend cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and XRP anywhere Visa is accepted. The principal membership status allows Coinbase to bypass middlemen that would normally make the use of the product costlier. As Feroz Zeeshan said, the “Direct membership allows us to take control of our issuing program”

Challenges using crypto for payments 

Cryptocurrencies have been seeing increasing levels of interest globally both from ordinary citizens to corporations and governments. However the uniqueness cryptocurrency features, most especially its cross border nature that citizens of countries with unstable financial and monetary system appreciates deeply, the daily use of cryptocurrencies for minute expenditures has always been a challenge. 

This challenges which are due to transactions done in isolation (without having to go through legacy financial systems) thus causing slow processing, the global level of appreciation of crypto’s uniqueness, trust, transactional cost etc, has significantly impacted the growth in the use of cryptocurrency for daily engagements. 

This was explicitly stated by the CEO of Coinbase UK, Zeeshan Feroz who said 

Your Bitcoin holdings have never been liquid because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it. It’s never been an instant, “Oh, I’ll buy this cup of coffee with bitcoin,”.

What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.”

Though Coinbase has revealed the card will not be available for US users, it will be available for others such as users in 29 countries including Estonia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy etc. It opens up a whole new way of using digital currencies for daily expenditures. Below are some of the ways it will have impact on crypto adoption. 

Super fast transactions 

The membership status obtained by Coinbase allows it to issue cards that users can use and enjoy instant settlements. 

With the swipe of the card, users will be able to pay with supported cryptocurrencies without having to first convert to their local currencies as is currently obtainable globally. 

Convenience and accessibility 

Cryptocurrencies are true global currencies yet, its global nature suffers certain setbacks. The ease and convenience of using cryptocurrency in foreign markets though possible is not as easy as it seems.

Though regional firms may offer easing services, the Coinbase debit cards awards users the ability make payments globally wherever Visa is supported. This affords users the ability to travel globally even without a bank account and be able to engage in commerce. 

Distribution of card offering firms 

With the principal membership status, other companies can issue debit cards through Coinbase. This helps to expand the ease of using cryptocurrency in retail transactions by companies in various regions globally. 

Cryptocurrency started as an unknown technology but today, it represents a global multi-billion dollar industry growing at an impressive rate. However the limitations, crypto industry have created a name for itself. With various organizations pushing forth the global adoption of cryptocurrency, this current position of Coinbase points to a unique picture. Global cryptocurrency adoption is possible and near. 

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Pornhub Add Tron-based USDT Tron as Payout Method.

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Leading website for pornographic contents Pornhub has added the Tron based USDT stablecoin to its platform. 

 

This addition is coming few months after PayPal abruptly stopped offering Pornhub its services thus restricting thousands of models all over the world from receiving payments.

Ever since then according to Pornhub, it has been hustling to start offering more options to make payments easier for its models. 

 

On January 23rd, Pornhub announced its addition of stablecoin Tether to its platform as a payout option. Educating those who may not be familiar with cryptocurrency and stablecoin, Pornhub explain saying ” For those of you who may not know, USDT is a crypto currency that follows the US dollar, meaning one USDT token is equal to one US dollar. USDT transactions can be done globally within a few seconds and there are no fees.”

 

Tweeting on the addition, Founder of Tron Justin Sun commenting said, “This is a brilliant way to support the victims of centralized payment platforms like PayPal.”

 

Partnership agreement TRON and USDT 

Early 2019, TRON which formerly was an ERC20 Token before migration to its mainnet and USDT partnered to issue a Tron based USDT stablecoin compliant to the TRC20 standard. According to TRON, the token will be interoperable in all TRON based products. 

 

Pornhub has thus leveraged this partnership to ensure its models receive payouts through the TronLink wallet as soon as possible. 

 

PayPal’s Abrupt Censorship 

In the last quarter of 2019, PayPal abruptly out a stop to its support for the leading global adult entertainment website Pornhub. The decision came as a shock to the organization since there was no communication prior to the termination of support and models were expectant of their payouts. 

 

This decision has put Pornhub on the toe to provide more options for its models to receive payouts. 

 

Verge XVG Partnership 

Tron based USDT isn’t the only cryptocurrency supported on Pornhub. In 2018, Pornhub partnered with XVG Verge to integrate the privacy focus cryptocurrency unto its Pornhub Add Tron-based USDT Tron as Payout Method.While the crypto community went agog with the news of adoption, models were not so enthusiastic because of the education level of using cryptocurrency. 

 

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Akon Finalizes Agreement to build Fully Functional Crypto City, Akon City

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Senegalese/American national and global musician & businessman Akon has finalized the agreement to build Akon City. A city fully powered by the cryptocurrency, the Akoin.

The announcement which was made via the singer’s his social media account contained few words but has been a building story for several months.

Akoin according to the cryptocurrency website is “a new cryptocurrency from visionary changemaker Akon and is the foundation of the AKoin Ecosystem – a unique global project that offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion”.

The website went on saying “Akoin will provide a much-needed platform for individuals to gain access to educational materials, tools and resources to make their entrepreneurial visions a reality. This, in turn, will foster a more sustainable environment that encourages a focus on entrepreneurship over charity.”

Akon City named after the himself according to the Rapper will be built on a 2,000 acres of land provided by the President of Senegal and it will be a fully functional crypto-based city with Akoin as the transactional currency.

The “Lonely” singer has stated himself that the City will a short drive from the country’s capital, Dakar. It’s also going to have an airport.

The singer believes that the initiative will bring power back to the people and also security to the currency system. It will also allow people to in various ways to advance themselves and not rely on government’s intervention.

On the technicalities involved in the project, Akon who noted he would want to run for the Presidency, stated that he only comes up with the concepts and knows nothing about the technical aspects but he lets the geeks figure it out.

The project according to the rappers and business man said, it will be a 10-year building block and though the project has started, stage two will commence from 2025.

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Italian Football Club Juventus Now Has Its own Crypto Token $JUV. 

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Italian football Club Juventus has partnered with sports focused blockchain firm Socios.com to launch a cryptocurrency token $JUV.

Socios.com is the world’s first blockchain-based fan voting and rewards platform. A tokenized voting platform that gives fans the power to crowd-manage their favorite sports teams.

The token which football fans can purchase via the Social’ App grants holders the right to vote on certain club decisions and earn rewards.

In sport focused token offering ‘Fan Token Offering FTO™, a significant number of the 20,000,000 total supply the JUV token is already available for sale to interested fans.

Giorgio Ricci, Chief Revenue Officer of Juventus speaking on the development said;

“We are proud to be the first Club to be activated by Socios.com on its platform, inaugurating a new way to interact with our fans around the world”.

The price of $JUV will fluctuate according to supply and demand once the marketplace feature is launched, and Fan Tokens can be traded by fans on exchanges.

Alexandre Dreyfus, the founder and CEO of Socios.com who also commented on the partnership between both organizations said;

99.9% of sports fans are not in the city/country of the team they are supporting. We created these fungible fans tokens to allow fans to have an influence over some fan-based initiatives”.

$JUV is currently priced at around €2 (~$2.2) apiece. A limited number of these tokens are also available for free via Socios app’s Augmented Reality feature, Token Hunt.

According to Socios.com, it also has other clubs that are ready to join its platform and six are already lined up for tokenization by Q1 2020.

These include Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Atlético de Madrid (tokens for which will be launched in late January); West Ham United, Galatasaray and A.S. Roma (in February) and esports provider OG (in March), per the announcement.

The Socios app is available to download for Android and iOS users can apply for a beta version of the app.

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