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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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Singapore Shipping Association Warms up to Embrace Blockchain-based Ship Registration System

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A news report has it that there is a collaboration between the Singapore Shipping Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore startup called Perlin to develop what has been dubbed the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS) which they believed has the ability to minimize time, costs as well as the occurrence of errors in the process of ship registration.

 

Since Singapore is undoubtedly is the fifth-largest registry in the world with a fleet of around 4,500 ships, there would be a to restructure the process of registration, which would enhance performance and improve procedures. In this regard, the three organizations have opined that the new arrangements could improve the productivity of the ship-registration process for the Singapore flag, which is currently done via the Marinet web portal. The organizations are also of the opinion that embracing the blockchain-based method could benefit other ship registries that are using manual and paper-based processes.

 

According to the report, Perlin’s wavelet will be used to power the IERS and which if the implementation is successful, the ICC after urging for global adoption among its international network of members and affiliated Chambers, will also give a useful hand in submitting the IERS in all the government tenders.

John Denton, the secretary-general of ICC has been reported to say that their goal for working with Perlin is for the IERS which are  built-in Singapore (making Singapore the world’s first blockchain shipping registry solution) to be shown and adopted globally to help power the next 100 years of shipping-based trade across all industries,

 

In all, this development is going to be supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. They will back this remarkable initiative by sharing the IERS ship-registration process and exploring an open Application Programming Interface in the registration process.

 

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UNICEF Gets into the Cryptocurrency Industry as it creates a Crypto Fund

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The United Nations Children Fund UNICEF has made move into the cryptocurrency industry. The body through the creation of a crypto fund successfully achieved the move into the industry.

According to a press release dated 8th of October, 2019, UNICEF announced it will now be able to receive, hold and send cryptocurrencies through its newly established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.

“Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” – Aya Miyaguchi, Ethereum Foundation

The fund according to UNICEF will be used to fund open source technology benefitting children and young people all over the world.

Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore was quoted saying “this is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That is why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Funds is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

Funds contributed to the fund will be held in the cryptocurrency of contribution and given out to beneficiaries in same currencies.

At current, UNICEF only supports the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum and the first contributions to the fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation. The contribution will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF innovation fund and a project of coordinated by the GIGA initiatives, UNICEF revealed.

Expressing excitement at the development, Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation said “The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,”

Continuing, she said “We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come. We’d like to thank UNICEF and the UNICEF family of national committees for their leadership as we create real progress together.”

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee, and the UNICEF Innovation Fund grantees that will receive their first donations are PrescryptoAtix Labs and Utopixar,  UNICEF reported.

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First of its Kind in Africa: SisiPower to Empower the ‘African Sisi’ with $1m Entrepreneurial Grants and 150m Anion Sanitary Pads to women and the less privileged girl-child in Africa

Sisipower is committed to positioning the African sisi and equipping HER with one of the most trending innovative skills and technology, which is blockchain.

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Sisibox -Nigeria's first Sanitary Product powered by the Blockchain

Sanitary pads which is supposed to be readily available and affordable to every girl or young woman in Africa is not. Though we have some sanitary pad brands in the market, it’s just that many of these girls and women can’t afford to buy and use them for their monthly menstrual circle. In order to get these pads, these young women find themselves in despicable situations where they are forced to have sex with the chemist or shop keepers who sells these items. They are also exposed to having sex with any available male in exchange for sanitary pad. So sad that girls have to sell their dignity just to get a paltry sum of money to care for their monthly period.

It is also not new as research shows that many girls especially in public secondary schools miss class during their menstrual period. They do this as a result of the fear of being shamed by boys and girls alike for the blood stains that reflects at the back of their skirts. Not only that, some of these girls, if at all they try to come, end up using unhygienic materials like dirty clothes or tissue papers. And while they are away from school they miss out on academic lessons which affect their overall academic performance and deny them of better future prospects.

A look at our female prisons wards, tales of woes, agony and pains as another worrisome situation is brewing there. In the prisons, we have a situation where about five female inmates have to share one sanitary pad. Thus exposing them to all manners of highly contagious disease and infection.

Some of these girls and women when interviewed say, “we can’t afford to eat three square meals how much more buy a sanitary pad.”

In putting an end to this problem which have skipped the eyes of many, BEEP Foundation, a concerned non-governmental organization launches SISI POWER, a campaign to empower indigent women and girls with 1 million Dollars and 150 million sanitary pads across Africa, though starting from Nigeria.

This cash will be given as business grants to indigent women, after proper training. Also, they shall be mentored by successful business women and the foundation to ensure they make better use of the grants given to them.

For girls, they shall have access to free monthly sanitary pad and access to Blockchain Technology, ICT and life skills training which makes it possible for them not to sell themselves short just for sanitary pads. They will be trained in the following areas; Coding, Mobile App Development, Animation, Digital Marketing, Graphic Designs and other relevant courses that ensure for their self-sustenance, productivity.

With this innovative gesture, BEEP Foundation through the launch of Sisi Power has placed itself at the forefront of poverty eradication, entrepreneurial empowerment of Girls and Women in Africa.

The narrative has to change , Sisipower is committed to positioning the African sisi and equipping HER with one of the most trending innovative skills and technology, which is blockchain. SisiPower leads the way in its application of blockchain technology by enabling acceptance of donations in BMCTokens and made provision for acceptance of a smart contract shared Master-Node Equity reward on the blockchain to support and sustain the vision and mission of sisipower.

Sisi Power is an initiative of Beep Foundation, a foundation geared at providing empowerment and innovative development in Africa.

Operations Head Office : 15 Yinusa Adeniji street off Muslim Avenue ikeja lagos Nigeria. www.sisipower.org. Info@sisipower.org.

A few members of the executive team were unveiled at the event.

Amb. Dr GIlead Okolonkwo - Brain and Founder of the Sisipower Initiative

Amb. Dr GIlead Okolonkwo – Brain and Founder of the Sisipower Initiative


Dr Chinwe Ikpe- Global Director of grants and Operations

Dr Chinwe Ikpe- Global Director of grants and Operations SisiPower


Dr Stephany Nwanmah - Global Director of Strategy and Partnership Sispower

Dr Stephany Nwanmah – Global Director of Strategy and Partnership Sispower

This launch happened on Saturday, 28th September, 2019, at 10:00am at the ZAAZ Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.

Find Photos of the event here

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Bitcoin Cash Support Added to HTC Flagship Smartphone, the Exodus 1

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Image: Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin Cash support has been added to the Exodus 1, the flagship smartphone of HTC as part of a new partnership between the Taiwanese smartphone consumer electronics manufacturer and Bitcoin.com

The Exodus 1 which is an Android powered mobile phone is the first native web 3.0 mobile devices with architecture that secures crypto assets. The device has an easy to use digital wallet, Zion Vault whose software interfaces with the device’s hardware security.

The wallet allows users to store and make transactions using the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency without having to be exposed to remote system penetration.

According to Bitcoin.com, the partnership will see HTC pre-loading the firm’s popular wallet app on the device. In turn, Bitcoin.com will offer for sale the Exodus 1 Flagship device and other lower device from the manufacturer on the Bitcoin.com online store. The lower priced device Exodus 1s will also feature same native bitcoin cash support which the flagship users are to enjoy.

Speaking on the partnership, Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust said “There are so many synergies between Bitcoin.com and HTC. We are very excited to be on this incredible journey together.”

Roger Ver, the Executive Chairman contributed saying  “Bitcoin.com’s partnership with HTC will enable Bitcoin Cash to be used as peer to peer electronic cash for the millions of HTC smartphone users around the world.”

Based on the news reporting arm of bitcoin.com, HTC sees great promise in cryptocurrency and that is the reason why it has added support for bitcoin cash.

The Taiwanese firm’s Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen speaking on the importance of the partnership between both organizations said “Smartphones are everywhere and have proliferated across the planet. It’s very important for the adoption of crypto that it is easy to store and use, no matter which cryptocurrency is preferred by people. So the fact that BCH, one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, is now easy to use on our smartphone is very important for us. Together, HTC and Bitcoin.com are helping to bring crypto to the masses.”

He went further saying HTC believes in user ownership of, control of their data and cryptocurrency presents the best opportunity to start the journey into owning personal data. Understanding the fear of users owning and controlling access to their data, Phil Chen believes this will significant impact the business models and revenues of these ‘powerful firms’.

HTC believes the smartphone will be the tool which will allow users manage, access, store their digital assets.

Bitcoin.com revealed that future plans of the partnership includes offering discounts when paying for goods in BCH as well as sales of the Exodus phones on store.bitcoin.com

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