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El Salvador Unfazed by Bitcoin’s Recent Price Drop

The price of Bitcoin went down sharply on Tuesday, plunging 19% from $52,956 to $42,900 yesterday, undoing the gains it made recently and wiping out more than $180 billion in market value. El Salvador, the country that officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender yesterday, appeared unfazed by the dip, and capitalized on it instead. The country simply purchased another 150 BTC as soon as the price was right.

According to analysts, the reason for the drop was clear. Investors were choosing to sell while the price was still high, after bitcoin had failed to rise above the significant limit of $ 53,000 recently. The digital currency had become 12% more valuable since the end of last month. In April, bitcoin reached an all-time record with $ 64,895.

El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to legally adopt bitcoin and accepting it as a legal tender. Every resident who opens an account in the government’s bitcoin wallet Chivo, receives a $ 30 bitcoin gift. The Central American country has recently bought 400 bitcoins for about € 17.5 million. Earlier on Tuesday, Salvadorans who were trying to download the Chivo digital wallet found that it was not available on the popular app stores. A later tweet from president Bukele mentioned that the government had temporarily unplugged it, to connect more servers to deal with the overwhelming demand.

Though many may have tried to open Chivo, most Salvadorians are not all running to the newly opened bitcoin machines to change their dollars to Bitcoin. Surveys have shown that Salvadorans are skeptical about the use the digital currency, mainly because they believe its value fluctuates too much. People are used to a very stable US dollar.

The fact that bitcoin’s value dropped so sharply on the first day, may not help generate the trust president Nayib Bukele is looking for in its citizens. And the mistrust in the digital currency reached a climax with more than 1,000 people marching in El Salvador’s capital San Salvador on Tuesday, to protest the adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender.

Companies in the El Salvador will have to accept the digital currency in exchange for goods and services. The government will also accept bitcoins for paying taxes. But protesters feel the poorest may struggle with the technology to make bitcoin accessible to them. Right now, nearly half the population has no internet connection, or has very spotty connectivity.

But president Bukele is full of trusts. “Like all innovations, El Salvador’s bitcoin process has a learning curve,” Bukele said in a tweet. “Not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month.”

With bitcoins, it becomes cheaper for El Salvador residents working abroad, mostly in the United States, to send money to their families in El Salvador. It costs Salvadorian’s hundreds of millions of dollars in bank commissions every year to send their family members US dollars.

Regardless of the possible price fluctuations El Salvador plans to buy many more bitcoins, President Nayib Bukele said earlier on Twitter. In 2020, the small country had a gross domestic product of more than $ 24 billion. According to the World Bank’s most recent figures, 29% of the population lives below the poverty line. For the time being, the country will still accept US dollars too.

source: the blockchain web site

Could Walmart’s Crypto Expert Vacancy Reveal a Future Crypto Strategy?

Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, with 2.3 million employees placed a vacancy seeking a crypto expert to oversee, what could be, their upcoming digital currency push. The US supermarket chain has placed the add for the position of product leader who will have the important task to outline their cryptocurrency strategy.

According to the job posting Walmart is looking for a “visionary leader”, with at least 10 years of product management or technology experience to develop its blockchain strategy, preferably someone possessing “significant functional knowledge of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and an entrepreneurial mindset”.

Walmart has been experimenting with blockchain for quite some time now. In 2018, the company started started using IBM’s food tracking solution for leafy vegetables. The Chinese branch of Walmart even made their products traceable via VeChain. In 2019, Walmart filed a patent to launch a US-based stable coin that would benefit low-income households that do not have good access to banking services.

Although the complete job description of the newly aquired crypto expert is not entirely out in the open yet, as the vacancy mainly describes who they are looking for, and not so much what the job might entail, Walmart might be dusting off the idea to start its own coin again.

Walmart is not the only company that has been plunging into to the digital deep of cryptocurrency. Amazon has shared a similar vacancy, but says it’s not going to accept bitcoin any time soon. Other companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Apple and PayPal, are all hiring for cryptocurrency positions.

Other companies such as Whole Foods, Starbucks and Home Depot already allow customers to pay with cryptocurrencies, although indirectly for now, through applications that convert the digital currency into U.S. dollars.

source: the blockchain web site

Cashaa And UNICAS to Open First Crypto-Friendly Bank Branches in India, Transforming UNICAS’ Banks into Crypto Lounges

  • Open saving accounts with crypto wallets
  • Loan against cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate
  • Invest in cryptocurrencies, Bonds, and fixed deposits
  • Rapid expansion to over 100 branches by 2022
  • Buy cryptocurrency with cash in physical branches

“Most Indians are not aware or are miss guided about Cryptocurrency as an online product and they tend to trust what they see or what the government recognizes and recommends. Also, India is still largely a cash-based economy despite a Demonetization drive. With UNICAS Crypto lounges we intend to address both issues which are slowing the process of cryptocurrency adoption in India,” stated Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO of Cashaa.

The joint venture will enable Cashaa to access The United’s regulatory licenses, its physical branches, and overall banking Infrastructure.

“This will allow us to build, scale and offer customized financial and crypto products for the local Indian markets,” said Dinesh Kukreja, Managing Director of United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society, who has been appointed as the CEO of the Unicas venture.

UNICAS will enable people to access traditional banking services along with crypto banking services both online and through its 22 physical branches across north India. The United’s existing branches will be transformed and modernized as Crypto Lounges.

Members can walk into any of these branches and get educated about Cryptocurrencies along with other Banking services. Initially account holders will be able to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Cashaa (CAS), Ethereum(ETH), Binance (BNB), Bitcoin Cash(BCH), EOS, Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple(XRP) in cash or with the account balance in Indian Rupees. The immediate plan is to open these Crypto Lounges in Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajasthan covering a population of 150 million Indians living in these states. ‘We are looking forward to expanding our footprints across other Indian states from there on’ stated Mr. Kukreja.

In September, Cashaa had raised 5 Million USD (~35 crores INR) to expand its operations into the Indian market from a Dubai-based investment fund O1EX. During the covid-19 pandemic Cashaa which saw an 800% jump in its operations and businesses. Mr. Gaurav added ‘‘This made us feel that the moment was ripe for India to start inducting emerging technologies into its banking domain. This is the opportune moment for us to revolutionize the banking space and deliver Indian’s a world-class inclusive banking experience with cryptocurrencies.’

Under the leadership of Kukreja, The United has been operating since 2012 and has been improving the lives of millions of Indians through its financial services. It is a member of the National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd. (NAFCUB) vide membership no. 1753 and certified with ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems. NAFCUB is an apex National Level Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies. Currently, the United is providing savings accounts, cash deposits and withdrawals, multiple bonds, and investment products, and loans (home, gold, and consumer).

“‘We are entering into the future of financial services in India. Merging our decade of experience with Indian traditional finance with Cashaa’s international banking experience will bring enormous transformation to both Indian fintech and the crypto industry. We are the first regulated financial institution in the world with physical branches where users can access crypto products. By increasing our exposure to emerging technologies, we are aiming to rapidly expand to over 100 physical branches by 2021, employing thousands of skilled professionals in India. Our savings bank account holders will also be able to use their cryptocurrencies as collaterals to take loans, like any other traditional loan given by banks, added Kukreja.

UNICAS is well known Indian financial institution that extends credit facilities to its members adopting “Microfinance” and “Group Financing “clubbed with “co-operative credit”.

Cashaa is the trading name of Cashaa Technologies Limited, a UK registered company (No. 11644308) whose registered office is at Suite 207 Equitable House Business Centre, 10 Woolwich New Rd, London, England, SE18 6AB.

source: the blockchain web site

BlokForge Acquires Cryptouniverse to Expand Distribution of Bitcoin Mining Hardware in Europe

Crypto mining equipment and accessories company, BlokForge, has announced its acquisition of Cryptouniverse, a major online mining distributor for Europe. The business expansion will broaden Bitcoin mining on a global scale.

This is good news for the digital coin, as China recently announced it will be clamping down on Crypto mining within China. The country currently accounts for more than 65% of bitcoin mining around the world.

“Bitcoin is the future,” said Nick Jackson, CEO and founder of BlokForge. “The world is steadily embracing decentralized money and it’s important that crypto mining technology meet the growing demand.”

The acquisition will expand BlokForge’s influence in the crypto mining industry. With full control of the Cryptouniverse platform, BlokForge will oversee distribution in the European market and further develop its global reach.

Cryptouniverse was established in 2017 to distribute large scale mining hardware and equipment across the European market. Like BlokForge, the company was a distributor for leading ASIC miner provider, Canaan.

“The addition to the BlokForge brand will not only provide a broader platform to distribute bitcoin mining hardware and accessories across the North Atlantic Ocean,” said Jackson, “but more importantly, Cryptouniverse will catalyze our ability to aid in the decentralization of mining hardware as our company’s core customer base ranges from individual miners to mid-sized farms. With the recent exodus of miners out of China and away from coal driven energy, we are seeing a massive uptick in smaller farms utilizing renewable energy and integrating ASIC hardware into existing eco-friendly businesses where the heat by-product is used for plant or organism farming- it’s exciting.”

The renowned cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, surged to a value of $60k in early 2021 causing the crypto mining market to climb. However, the upsurge was disproportionate on a global scale, with China hosting most of the world’s Bitcoin mining. Inevitably, expanding access to crypto mining hardware and services for other countries has been an indispensable motive for BlokForge’s acquisition of Cryptouniverse.

About BlokForge

BlokForge is a US based online ASIC mining hardware and related services warehouse offering competitive prices for all types of cryptocurrency mining hardware specializing in ASIC, GPU, Coin, Hash, and related accessories. BlokForge quickly gained traction as an esteemed online distributor of crypto mining hardware in the U.S. Formed in 2017 amidst the height of Bitcoin’s growing popularity, BlokForge entered the mining industry prepared to supply the best quality mining equipment and accessories to the end user. It currently services countries worldwide.

source: the blockchain web site

Big News From a Small Country – Bitcoin to become legal tender in El Salvador

A scoop for a small Central American country is worldwide news. In El Salvador it should soon be possible to pay for everything with bitcoin. On June 9, the 39-year-old President Nayib Bukele sent a bill to parliament to make bitcoin legal tender. The bill was passed by a vast majority. The Central American country is now the first country ever in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender.

The new law is good news for residents of the country. And the eyes of the world will surely be on this developement after this new law turns into practice in 90 days. bitcoin enthusiasts are happy, as they see it as a big step towards a world in which everyone can pay with digital currency. There are still many questions about how this will work out in practice.

The current currency in the country, the US dollar, will also remain valid, but soon everyone’s local greengrocer and supermarket will also have to accept payments in bitcoin, just like government agencies such as the tax authorities. The 90-day period is intended to prepare the country for the transition.

El Salvador is a very poor country, 70 percent of the population has no access to traditional payment services. Provided people have an internet connection, this will change very soon  The state also arranges courses for citizens who find the world of crypto too complicated. The government feels that digital skills should not be a reason to be excluded.

Many El Salvadorians earn their money in the United States. Part of their income is sent to relatives in the home country on a monthly basis. Those transfers are not free, as there are always commissions to pay. Workers abroad always see part of their hard earned cash disappear into the pockets of American banks that facilitate their transactions. With bitcoin, there is no commission, because cryptocurrency is decentralized, without the intervention of a bank.

But can a coin of which the value can fall or rise by 20 percent in one day actually work as a payment method? A bitcoin is now worth half of the record value in April (more than $ 60,000 then, compared to about $29,595 today). This would mean a retail seller who is paid his turnover in bitcoin, has to sell twice as much in the event of such a price drop in order not to suffer financially. President Bukele recognizes that risk. The national development bank keeps $150 million in a specially set up account to absorb exchange rate risks. Bukele’s government also guarantees that anyone can immediately exchange bitcoins for dollars if they wish. El Salvador is also negotiating a $1.3 billion bailout package to ease the burden of budget deficits and debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

source: the blockchain web site

Bitcoin’s Value is Surging Again after Tesla Tycoon Elon Musk’s latest Tweet

The price of Bitcoin rose again after Elon Musk announced that his company, Tesla, would possibly accept the digital currency as a form of payment again, providing virtual mining would take a more non-polluting path.

Musk announced that if 50% or more Bitcoin mining would be done with renewable energy, this would be enough for him to restart the option for people to purchase Teslacars with Bitcoin again. The electric car manufacturer stopped accepting BTC as a form of payment last May, after only accepting the option for Bitcoin payments for his electric cars for little over 3 months.

Musk’s reasons for his May announcement were his concerns about the excessive amount of fossil fuels needed to generate Bitcoin, and the negative impact this has on the environment. 65% of all bitcoin mining is currently done in China. The country is generating most of its electricity the old fashioned way, by burning coal.

After Elon’s May tweet the value of the cryptocurrency plummeted from its all-time highs (around $ 63,000) to a low of around $33.000 on June 8. After Musk’s latest tweet, the value has now gone up and reached the barrier of $40.000 again.

Musk’s influence on the price of cryptocurrencies can be called remarkable. Bitcoin soared after the tycoon’s message that it could be overcoming a barrier. But he has also been widely criticized for ‘manipulation’ of the worlds most popular digital coin.

Rumours that both Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor and Tesla CEO Elon Musk formed something called the North American Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), whose sole purpose is to ensure adherence to renewable energy usage for Bitcoin mining and promote energy usage transparency in the flagship cryptocurrency, did not seem to be entirely true. Apparently the group was spearheaded by Saylor, and Musk was not included.

It became evident that Musk’s involvement was no more than joining an educational call with a group of North American companies to discuss Bitcoin mining.

Many bitcoiners are watching the (BMC) with suspicion. They are seeing the group as some sort of cartel or attempt at “centralized” manipulation.

source: the blockchain web site

BlockFilm Becomes Leading Blockchain-based Film Financing Platform after Groundbreaking OSC Exemption Order

BlockFilm is to become the first independent and leading blockchain-based film financing platform in the space. The Canadian based production platform will be powered though a strategic partnership with TokenFunder. A groundbreaking Exemption Order by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), paved the way for this ‘tokenized’ production financing opportunity to happen.

The decision follows a rigorous process conducted by the OSC’s Launchpad team
and helps investors in content production avoid multiple-year waits before monetizing their investment, and gives producers access to wider pools of investment. It also allows BlockFilm to bring content producers – both established and emerging – together with accredited investors to finance independent media productions. The platform supports the creation of compliant financial instruments (security tokens) to fund and support project budgets.

The security tokens (covering equity, debt and/or revenue share methods of financing) represent the underlying fractionalized ownership or debt instruments that provide content producers with unprecedented and efficient access to new sources of private capital.

Gamechager for content producers 

What do award-winning star producers Damon D’Oliveira, Mary Young Leckie, Ina Fichman, J. Todd Harris and Roland Joffé, among others, have in common? They are part of a growing of industry leaders who agree that BlockFilm is a gamechanger for content producers. Top-grossing Canadian producer Mary Young Leckie knows how hard creators have to work to finance their projects, and how many stakeholders are involved in the various steps to financing. For Mary, BlockFilm is a “far simpler, more democratic and less painful way to finance a film, and cannot come soon enough.”

In addition to the OSC exemption, BlockFilm is pleased to announce it has partnered exclusively with TokenGX, an Exempt Market Dealer operating its groundbreaking TokenFunder.com investing and security token issuance platform, to onboard and serve investors wishing to invest in BlockFilm content producers’ security tokens. In addition to its fully digital Know-Your-Client onboarding and investing process, TokenFunder creates and distributes the projects’ security tokens to investors’ digital asset accounts—a process which enables them to be digitally traded in the future.

Previously, film industry investors had to wait out the full lifecycle of a project’s distribution path (seven to ten years, or even longer) to monetize their investment.

“We’re excited about this partnership with TokenFunder. Backed by blockchain integrity, security and transparency, we are responding to challenges our industry has faced for decades,” says Pauline Couture, Co-CEO of BlockFilm. “The BlockFilm solution for producers and investors is unmatched today and shows true global leadership from the OSC. BlockFilm will be transformational for both content producers and investors.”

Alan Wunsche, CEO of TokenGX and TokenFunder, said: “It’s exciting to think that we will be developing an entirely new class of investment products for investors who are seeking new forms of returns in this low-interest-rate environment, all while providing wider access for the arts community to secure funding and deepen fan engagement more cost-effectively.”

A bright future 

The BlockFilm/TokenFunder partnership will, in the future, allow content producers to issue rewards to their fans and investors in the form of tokens that can be collected or redeemed for film and production industry experiences and more. Eventually, members of the public will be able to offer support to content producers through direct donations. Fans, known as “champions”, will also be able to earn rewards for supporting projects through their personal social media channels.

At the time of launch, BlockFilm’s first 11 projects from Canada, Europe and the UK, aim to raise $19.1 million CAD in the next 4 to 6 months. With 50 projects in the pipeline at this moment and enormous ongoing interest, BlockFilm anticipates helping to fund more than 100 projects by the end of next year, for a projected total raise of $175 million CAD.

Accredited investors can invest in these international projects today, as long as they comply with local laws in their own jurisdictions, and will be able to resell their tokens to other accredited investors in the TokenFunder marketplace – an industry first.

“BlockFilm is conceived and designed to support an immense need among producers to access new sources of financing,” says Suzette Couture, Co-CEO and Chair of BlockFilm’s board. “Content producers in Canada and around the world will greatly benefit from our groundbreaking new platform as they connect to a global community of investors and champions that can now discover and invest in their work.”

BlockFilm is designed to showcase projects of every genre and format while promoting content with social impact causes at their heart, so that investors can connect to ‘stories that matter’ and leverage their investing power as a way of engaging in causes they want to support. Those projects will ignite the passions of fans and communities on key topics such as: the environment and sustainability; human rights; Indigenous Peoples; LGBTQIA2S+ people; People of Colour; social and political issues; and women
and gender issues.

source: the blockchain web site