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Binance launches crypto-to-bank account payment product in Latin America

Binance's Send Cash product will facilitate crypto payments from nine countries to bank accounts based in Argentina and Colombia.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is expanding its offerings in Latin America with the launch of a new crypto-to-bank account payment solution for the region.

On Aug. 30, Binance said it's working with licensed transfer processing providers for its new “Send Cash” product that allows users from nine countries to transfer crypto funds directly to bank accounts.

The new function is available for users in Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico.

Users from these countries will be able to send money via Binance Pay to recipients with bank accounts in Colombia and Argentina. Binance Pay, which has seen growth in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe is the exchange’s native crypto payment technology platform.

Binance’s regional vice president for Latin America Min Lin said the firm was developing new crypto use cases “in everyday life.”

“Individuals and businesses in the region are very open to innovations that can solve the specific challenges they face,” he added.

Binance highlighted the challenges in Latin America citing a 2021 World Bank study that said 42% of adults lack access to a bank account.

Crypto is often used for remittances in the region and adoption is increasing as rampant inflation is still ongoing in many LATAM countries.

Related: LATAM crypto holders flock to Bitget following Binance, Coinbase suits

Venezuela, not included in Binance’s new service, has the highest inflation rate in the world at 398%, according to Trading Economics.

Argentina has the fourth highest inflation globally at 113%. Inflation also remains in the double figures for Haiti, Cuba, and Colombia.

However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Binance in Latin America. On Aug. 24 the exchange said it was suspending its crypto debit card services in the region.

Meanwhile, stablecoin issuer Circle announced a partnership on Aug. 29 to bring its USD Coin (USDC) to LATAM’s largest fintech firm Mercado Pago which will offer the stablecoin in Chile.

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Num Finance launches Colombian peso stablecoin on Polygon

Num Finance received $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round in May and is now issuing stablecoins in the local currencies of Argentina, Peru and Colombia.

Argentina-based Num Finance has announced it has gone live with a n stablecoin pegged to the Colombian peso, the company announced Aug. 24 in an X post.

The stablecoin — called nCOP — is an overcollateralized, Polygon-based stablecoin and is aimed at the remittance market. 

Colombia receives over $6.5 billion a year in remittances, Num stated in a blog post. Remittances are one of the key use cases for stablecoin.

The nCOP logo. Source: Num Finance

The nCOP incorporates the “Num yield feature,” which allows user rewards to be paid in nCOP. Num Finance CEO Agustín Liserra said:

“In Colombia, there exists a unique opportunity to ‘tokenize’ remittances and offer them a yield in nCOP, based on regulated financial products. Currently, Colombia is one of the main recipients of remittances in Latin America.”

This is the third stablecoin the company has produced — after the nARS pegged to the Argentinian peso and the nPEN pegged to the Peruvian sol.

Related: Colombia’s central bank recommends limiting CBDC holdings and spending

Num received $1.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Reserve protocol in May. It said at the time that over $2.5 million worth of nARS and nPEN were in circulation, and was looking at launching stablecoins pegged to the Brazilian real, Colombian peso and Mexican peso. 

The Colombian central bank is considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) — another potential vehicle for remittances — and has determined that it should place holding and transaction limits on a future CBDC to safeguard the local financial system.

Also on Aug. 24, it was disclosed that Mastercard will stop supporting Binance crypto debit cards in Latin American countries, including Colombia.

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Colombia central bank recommends limiting CBDC holdings and spending

Setting limits on CBDC transactions could be beneficial to issues related to user privacy and security, according to the central bank of Colombia.

The central bank of Colombia has not yet decided whether or not to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), but believes that setting limits on CBDC transactions could bring about a number of benefits.

In its latest CBDC study, titled “Expected Macroeconomic Effects of Issuing a Retail CBDC,” Colombia’s Banco de la República concluded the potential introduction of a retail CBDC doesn’t pose any significant macroeconomic risks.

In order to mitigate any potential threats associated with CBDC, Colombia’s central bank recommended setting holding and spending limits for the digital currency. According to the regulator, such a CBDC design would increase the security of funds as CBDC holdings limits could safeguard users from cyberattacks targeting their balances or transactions.

Setting limits on retail CBDC holdings could also allow regulators to deal with the tradeoff between privacy and transparency by offering diverse tiers of limits.

For example, the Colombian central bank could offer digital wallets with small holding limits and a high level of privacy for people that place a high valuation to their transaction data. On the other hand, those who are comfortable with disclosing more data could prefer high holding limits and lower levels of privacy.

Additionally, CBDC limits could be beneficial for commercial banks as they would reduce the demand for a retail CBDC as a store of value in competition with bank accounts, the central bank noted.

“The introduction of the CBDC could be an attractive alternative for some risk-averse holders of other cash-like instruments,” the study reads, adding that this could impact the demand for government bonds, commercial papers and term deposit certificates. The study authors stated:

“By imposing CBDC holding limits to end users, this, and other types of situations — the tradeoff between privacy and security — could be easily controlled.”

While closely monitoring and studying the global development of CBDC, the Colombian central bank is still uncertain about whether its nation needs such a digital currency.

“The decision of issuing a retail CBDC must consider the fact that it would also need to have enough desirable features to generate a core group of users sufficient to generate the network externalities needed to make it viable,” the study authors stated.

Related: Canadians have ‘weak incentives’ to use a CBDC: Bank of Canada

A number of other global jurisdictions and organizations have considered setting limits on CBDC holding and spending as well.

In July, major United Kingdom’s finance trade bodies like UK Finance argued that the government should limit users’ digital pound holdings between 3,000 British pounds ($3,800) and 5,000 pounds ($6,400). According to UK Finance, a higher limit on Britcoin holdings — such as 20,000 pounds ($25,600) per individual — could destabilize the traditional banking system by facilitating bank runs or deposit competition with banks.

In 2020, European Central Bank’s director general of market infrastructure and payments, Ulrich Bindseil, proposed the adoption of a digital euro holding limit of 3,000 euros ($3,271) per person.

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Bitfinex launches P2P trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia

The launch announcement followed expansion moves by Bitfinex into El Salvador and Chile through licensing and partnerships, respectively.

Digital asset exchange Bitfinex has launched a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia.

In a June 27 announcement, the crypto exchange said it had started the “Bitfinex P2P” platform allowing users in the South American nations to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Tether’s euro-pegged stablecoin EURT and Tether Gold (XAUT). Bitfinex chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino suggested the expansion into the three countries was part of the firm’s efforts to promote digital asset-related financial services in Latin America.

Related: Peer-to-peer crypto exchanges struggle to navigate shifting legal landscape

The launch announcement followed Bitfinex’s El Salvador arm receiving a digital asset service provider license from the country’s National Digital Asset Commission in April. The exchange also partnered with Chile-based crypto platform OrionX in May, aiming to support local education programs and financial literacy.

P2P crypto exchange LocalBitcoins, which provided services to many residents of Latin America, shuttered its operations in February after more than 10 years. Paxful, another platform popular in the region, suspended operations in April but announced in May it was back online.

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Ripple Partners With Colombia’s Central Bank To Explore Blockchain Use Cases and CBDCs Powered by the XRP Ledger

Ripple Partners With Colombia’s Central Bank To Explore Blockchain Use Cases and CBDCs Powered by the XRP Ledger

Payments firm Ripple is working with Colombia’s central bank to test the firm’s new platform for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins. The Banco de la República and Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC) will pilot the use cases of the Ripple CBDC Platform with the aim of enhancing the country’s high-value […]

The post Ripple Partners With Colombia’s Central Bank To Explore Blockchain Use Cases and CBDCs Powered by the XRP Ledger appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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Ripple partners with Colombia’s central bank to explore blockchain technology

The pilot program will run through 2023 with the intent of demonstrating blockchain utility to the general public.

Banco de la República, Colombia’s central bank, is partnering with Peersyst and Ripple to pilot blockchain technology on the XRP ledger. 

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC) in Colombia will oversee the project, which will use Ripple’s recently launched central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform.

An announcement published on June 15 says the pilot will run through 2023 and states that its purpose is to demonstrate the technology’s utility to the public:

“The goal of the third phase of MinTIC’s experimentation of blockchain will be to educate national and territorial public entities through interactive and collaborative real-world application experiments of how blockchain technology’s unparalleled speed, scalability, and transparency can revolutionize payment systems and data management.”

The XRP ledger CBDC platform also serves as the basis for similar pilot projects in Hong Kong, Bhutan, Palau and Montenegro.

Ripple’s continued growth comes amid ongoing legal challenges stemming from a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suit against the company filed in 2020.

The SEC alleges that Ripple sold $1.3 billion worth of unregistered securities in the form of its XRP (XRP) token. Ripple claims that XRP isn’t a security and that the SEC never gave it any notice or warning.

Related: The SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit: Everything you need to know

As Cointelegraph recently reported, the company also claims it spent $200 million defending itself from the suit. While there’s currently no definitive answer to the question of when the trial will end, it’s widely believed that the release of the so-called “Hinman documents” could affect the remaining legal proceedings.

The Hinman documents reference internal SEC communications related to a 2018 speech given by William Hinman, the former director of the SEC’s corporate finance division. During the speech, Hinman commented that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) might start out as securities but could become commodities later once they become sufficiently decentralized.

At the time, internal SEC notes indicated that the commission was concerned Hinman’s comments could make it “difficult for the agency to take a different position on Ether in the future.”

While Himan’s speech was given before the SEC’s suit against Ripple and didn’t directly reference XRP, experts argue that it shows that even the SEC understood there was confusion surrounding the agency’s treatment of cryptocurrencies.

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Amnesty nixes AI-generated images of Colombian protests after criticism

The human rights advocacy group pulled the faked images following widespread online criticism.

Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has retracted artificial intelligence (AI) generated images it used in a campaign to publicize police brutality in Colombia during national protests in 2021.

The group was criticized for using AI to produce the images for its social media accounts according to reports. One image, in particular, was highlighted by The Guardian on May 2.

It depicts a woman being dragged away by police during Colombia’s protests against deep and long-standing economic and social inequalities in 2021.

However, a closer look shows a few discrepancies in the image such as the uncanny-looking faces, dated police uniforms and a protestor that appears to be somehow wrapped in a flag that is not the correct flag of Colombia.

The bottom of each image also carries a disclaimer saying the images are produced by an AI.

AI-generated image from Amnesty International. Source: Twitter

Amnesty International told The Guardian it chose to use AI to generate images to protect protesters from possible state retribution. Erika Guevara Rosas, director for Americas at Amnesty, said:

“We have removed the images from social media posts, as we don’t want the criticism for the use of AI-generated images to distract from the core message in support of the victims and their calls for justice in Colombia,”

Photojournalists criticized the use of the images, commenting that in today’s highly polarized era of fake news people are more likely to question the media's credibility.

AI-generated image from Amnesty International. Source: Twitter

Media scholar Roland Meyer commented on the deleted images stating “image synthesis reproduces and reinforces visual stereotypes almost by default,” before adding they were “ultimately nothing more than propaganda.”

Other images, now deleted by Amnesty, were shared by Twitter users in late April.

AI-generated image from Amnesty International. Source: Twitter

Related: Here’s how the crypto industry is using artificial intelligence

AI is being increasingly used to generate images and visual media. In late April, HustleGPT founder Dave Craige posted a video of the United States Republican Party using AI imagery in its political campaign.

“We all knew that AI and deep-fake images were going to make it to politics, I just didn’t realize it would happen so quickly,” he exclaimed.

Cointelegraph contacted Amnesty for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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Binance Launches Prepaid Card in Colombia

Binance Launches Prepaid Card in ColombiaBinance, the cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a prepaid cryptocurrency card in Colombia, expanding its reach in Latam. The card, which will allow customers with their identity verified to make payments with crypto, establishes the country as one of the leading markets for the exchange in Latam behind Brazil and Argentina. Binance Announces Crypto Prepaid Card […]

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Latam Countries Prepare Regional Agreement to Counter Rampant Inflation

Latam Countries Prepare Regional Agreement to Counter Rampant InflationA group of countries in Latam is preparing a regional agreement to address inflation, a problem common to most nations in the region. The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Mexican president Andres Lopez Obrador, would allow the exchange of products with high prices between the states to lessen the effects of price rises. Latam […]

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Colombia’s legal system experiments in the metaverse: Report

Colombia has positioned itself at the forefront of innovative ways to conduct legal proceedings after recently hosting a trial in the metaverse.

A Colombian court recently hosted its first legal trial in the Metaverse, with the court magistrate saying it felt “more real than a video call,” according to a recent report.

According to a Reuters report published on Feb. 24, Colombia’s Magdalena Administrative Court held a court case in the Metaverse on Feb. 15, involving participants in a traffic dispute.

The case, which went on for two-hours, was brought by a regional transport union against the police, which will progress “partly” in the metaverse, with a potential for the verdict to also be given in the metaverse.

The participants appeared as avatars in a virtual courtroom, with Magistrate Maria Quinones Triana dressed in black legal robes.

It was noted that Columbia is one of the first countries in the world to test legal proceedings in the metaverse, with Quinones telling Reuters that it felt more “real than a video call.”

Related: The ethics of the metaverse: Privacy, ownership and control

This comes after a recent survey released by CoinWire on Jan. 16 found that 69% of respondents believe that the metaverse will eventually modify social lifestyles due to new approaches taken for entertainment and activities.

Cathy Hackl, author of Into the Metaverse: The Essential Guide to the Business Opportunities of the Web3 era told Cointelegraph on Jan. 31 that the “physical world side” of the metaverse will “come in the next 10 years.”

Hackl added that if that is considered, then how we “socialize will be deeply impacted by the metaverse

The World Economic Forum (WEF) held in January this year was seen boasting metaverse experiences, with the conference allowing delegates to experience the forum in its own 3D immersive digital sessions called the “Global Collaboration Village.”

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