What token will save Venezuela and Hong Kong?
What actually matters this week, and why.
In my humble opinion…
give the people what they want!
(CRYPTO: FTM) You may have heard that crypto has a bit of a scalability problem, seeing as it’s getting more expensive and slower to trade crypto and share data across DLTs. Fantom is working on a distributed ledger technology stack to combat this problem. Don’t confuse DLTs with blockchain – while they may appear similar, in practice they’re pretty different. Fantom’s ultimate goal is to help different transaction bodies become compatible with each other, and to create a reliable platform that would allow applications built on their FANTOM OPERA Chain (haha, get it?) to have inexpensive and instant transactions. This technology can be applied to a variety of industries, from healthcare, to environment sustainability, to smart cities. Read the whitepaper here.
Bitcoin has been essential in keeping millions of Venezuelans afloat. Now, their corrupt government wants them to use their own shady digital currency. Hard pass.
To quickly catch you up, Venezuela’s had an epically destructive few years. 4 million citizens have left the country due to political instability, making it the largest exodus in the Western Hemisphere’s modern history. The average monthly wage is $2.50. Yes, monthly. Inflation has increased from 9% to over 10,000,000% since 2018. They’re giving Zimbabwe a run for their money. Here’s where their crypto problem comes in. Cryptocurrency is an obvious solution for transferring money to Venezuelans who still currently reside in the disruptive country. Cryptocurrency is almost essential for Venezuela’s citizens to stay alive – especially since the government says they’re, “not beggars” and has systemically refused international aid. Mining crypto has carried a huge risk for those still residing in the corrupt country, but many still do it as a means to survive.
Nicolás Maduro, the country’s leader, created a token supposedly backed by Venezuela’s oil and mineral reserves called the Petro (petromoneda). Now, partially thanks to Russia, it has become a handy way to circumvent international sanctions, an attempt to bolster their economy, take advantage of remittances, and track its citizens payments. Maduro has his government officials publicly shilling the token, encouraging its people to use it, claiming that it’s currently the safest way to send money in and out of the country and is “the only way to avoid depreciation of income.” What a bold statement! Yeah, we’ll take a raincheck on that.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, things are still dicey. Crypto has become the economic activist the country needed. Still, will it last?
Put your money where your mouth is. Hong Kong definitely has been. In their twelfth week of massive protests against the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong business are beginning to accept a variety of tokens, including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as a form of opposition. You know things are getting desperate when we see extreme local crypto inflation, which has unfortunately become normal during economic oppression (see: Argentina). Another new form of protest has been withdrawing cash and converting it to USD. Crypto also provides some guarantee that protest-related payments cannot be tracked by a governing body. China has said that any asset used against them in the protest will be confiscated (if they prevail, that is).
Crypto can provide assurance to people in Hong Kong that if a massive devaluation were to take place, there would be a backup payment method. Some think that the HK dollar will stop being tied to the US dollar, or that bank accounts could become frozen (which tends to happen with a huge political uprising). The point, of course, is to show the PPC that there will economic consequences for ignoring the protests. It seems only appropriate that digital currency has become an alternative economic force in Hong Kong, a city where facial recognition is used for evil and encrypted chatting apps are shut down. While crypto might not be the safe haven for people living in stable political and economic environments (despite looming trade wars between the US and China), it’s clearly the best option for those who have to rely on anonymity.
Telegram’s token, the Gram, is set to launch in October. As for whether or not it’ll even happen is up for debate.
Praise Allah! Ethereum is officially considered halal, (unless your intentions are not halal, of course) thanks to the investigation of a prominent Muslim scholar.
Gird your loins! Bitcoin took a little dip past $10,000, thanks to some major long selloffs.
Coin to Watch
(CRYPTO: RVN) While the market’s looking red, Ravencoin still stands out to us. Even though Overstock is a big investor and has been also having a rough few weeks, it may be time to become acquainted with the token.
You Laugh You Win
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