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Central Bankers Descend On El Salvador To Learn About Bitcoin And Financial Inclusion

Financial representatives of 44 countries visited El Salvador and saw firsthand how the country’s Bitcoin adoption is changing it for the better.

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Financial representatives of 44 countries visited El Salvador and saw firsthand how the country’s Bitcoin adoption is changing it for the better.

What happened in El Salvador to encourage 44 different countries to send representatives from 32 central banks and 12 other financial institutions? The short answer is that last week the country hosted an economic summit to learn about El Salvador’s strategies and experience in financial inclusion. And while the event was not a Bitcoin-specific gathering, the participants, many of whom hail from countries with similar economies to El Salvador’s, received firsthand exposure to the country’s unique and pioneering Bitcoin journey.

A Bitcoin Summit For The Alliance For Financial Inclusion

Participants in this financial forum are members of the Alliance For Financial Inclusion (AFI), an organization that promotes and develops economic policies that help improve the lives of poor and unbanked populations. In an interview for this article, Mike Peterson from the Bitcoin Beach project, described the organization as the “group of forgotten countries that the economic superpowers often ignore.”

As a member of AFI since 2012, this latest summit El Salvador was hosting the latest rounds of meetings for AFI’s Digital Finance Services Working Group and the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Services Working Group. According to El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, on Twitter, the gathering focused on “financial inclusion, digital economy, banking the unbanked, the Bitcoin rollout and its benefits...”

While the event was planned for 2020 and postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AFI finalized the summit’s agenda before El Salvador approved the “Bitcoin Law.” Though before the summit, AFI Policy Programs and Implementation Director Eliki Boletawa recognized El Salvador as the first country to make bitcoin legal tender and balance innovation with “stability, integrity and inclusivity.”

Source

In an interview with the Salvadoran state news media, Banji Milambo, a representative from the Zambian delegation, in reference to the adoption of Bitcoin, said, “It’s a progressive move, it's the evolution of money and the rest of us need to catch up.”

Some Countries Are Not Ready For Bitcoin

As word of the gathering of central bankers and financial institutions spread on social media, many Bitcoiners began to speculate whether this event foreshadowed a large-scale Bitcoin adoption event by nation states.

To address this viral anticipation, Paraguay’s central bank, a participant in the summit, released a statement informing the country’s population that the meetings were not about the adoption of cryptocurrencies. It also reminded Paraguayans that cryptocurrencies could not be legal tender as per its laws, as the central bank does not issue them.

AFI also released a couple of similar statements, one of which reiterated that the adoption of Bitcoin “was particularly relevant to El Salvador and a wonderful opportunity for peer exchange; nonetheless, adoption is not a possibility in the majority of countries.”

AFI members may be learning a lot from this summit, and they may need some reflection time to process their experiences.

“The majority of attendees are not low-level bureaucrats but central bankers and decision makers. Their decisions will impact their home countries,” said Peterson.

It’s worth noting that some of the participants may also be keeping a growing interest in Bitcoin adoption out of the public eye, given that financial institutions like Home Credit, Visa and Mastercard provide funding for AFI.

El Salvador Is A Bitcoin Model To Follow

Only eight months into El Salvador’s official Bitcoin adoption efforts, impatience is a common theme among critics and Bitcoiners alike. However, Bitcoin implementation did not happen overnight, and the summit members are likely unaware of the country’s challenges up to this point.

“Well yes, it's official, we will use Bitcoin.” Source

It’s little known that President Nayib Bukele first talked about adopting Bitcoin back in 2017 while his opposition was blocking him from seeking the presidency. At that time, the electoral authorities threatened to freeze his election campaign funds, which prompted him to assert that El Salvador would use Bitcoin.

While the principles of freedom and unconfiscatable money were at least part of the impetus for adopting Bitcoin in El Salvador, the main value proposition should still be financial inclusivity, as reflected in many aspects of the Bitcoin Law. And to showcase the country's best case study, on the fourth and final day of the summit, the organizers invited AFI members to El Zonte, where they experienced a hands-on workshop on transacting over the Lightning Network.

View the 2 images of this gallery on the original article

Source

“Participants were given $10 worth of bitcoin on their Bitcoin Beach Wallet so they could go buy products and services from local businesses,” said Peterson. According to AFI, this gave participants a first-hand look at how “small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals make use of private digital currencies in their day-to-day lives.”

According to Peterson, there is nothing like experiencing Bitcoin over Lightning firsthand.

“It’s one thing to understand the economics and the technology of Bitcoin, but it’s entirely different to experience transacting with it and how fast it is,” he said. “And it’s important that they see how a Bitcoin circular economy can happen in El Zonte because they can empathize and connect what’s happening here with similar communities in their own countries.”

By many measurements, Bitcoin is a success in El Salvador. AFI members would do well to pay attention as the country has posted a 10.3% GDP increase, increased tourism by 30%, increased export by 15.3% and increased remittances by 4.2%. Even by the International Monetary Fund’s owns standards, it is one of the best countries in Latin America to emerge from the pandemic. It projects a positive GDP growth, and results show less crime and less migration to the United States.

Source

Per Bitcoin Beach’s Twitter account, Peterson hopes that attendees walked away with lightbulb moments when they realize that, through Bitcoin, they can solve their economic problems without much difficulty.

"It all started here, and it's important that they see the place that sparked the world into hyperbitcoinization,” Peterson said.

This is a guest post by Jaime Garcia. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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6 Questions for Alyssa Tsai of Panony

We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on…

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We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!


 

This week, our 6 Questions go to Alyssa Tsai, founder and CEO of Panony an incubator, investor and adviser for blockchain and Web3 business.

My name is Alyssa Tsai, and Im the founder and CEO of Panony. There are three pillars of businesses under our group umbrella. PANews is one of the earliest crypto media outlets in Greater China and South Korea. It has published over 20,000 articles, with an average of over 5 million page views per month. At Panony, we invest in blockchain projects worldwide and consult Fortune 500 companies for integration and expansion into the industry, spanning the entire spectrum of the blockchain industry from solution providers and exchanges to public chains, protocols and DApps. Im also a limited partner of NGC Ventures, the Animoca Metaverse Fund and the Delta Fund.

Before falling down the rabbit hole of crypto, my prior work experience included Cond Nast, Isentia, Ogilvy and a high-tech law firm. I also actively speak at and moderate global blockchain conferences.

 


1 What is the main hurdle in the way of the mass adoption of blockchain technology?

The industry is still in its infancy. We should be aware of the many challenges, though its already a buzzword in the tech world. The scalability problem is directly related to adoption and blockchain implementation. This question is about whether the system can operate smoothly as demand increases, which inevitably determines mass integration.

Its also important to address that the complexity of blockchain technology limits mass markets ability to appreciate the benefits. The entry barrier is high, so people need to make an effort to understand, not to mention having to keep up with the rapid changes and disruptions. Now they might as well use an adequately good solution for their needs, like regular financial services.

Thats why I feel like Im doing a meaningful job every day. Its early for blockchain and never too early for us. There are so many things to do and so many people we can support through education. The future is now.

 

2 Which countries are doing the most to support blockchain, and which ones will be left behind?

Since Im based out of Greater China, I can share whats happening here from my perspective.

Chinese President Xi Jinping once stated that the country needs to seize the opportunities given by blockchain technology. Following that principle, China has been developing a platform, known as the Blockchain-based Service Network, aimed at making blockchain technology implementation easier for businesses. Many governments are experimenting with a CBDC a central bank digital currency, which has blockchain at its core and China is piloting its digital yuan.

In recent years, the nation has issued statements supporting the development of blockchain tech across several sectors, with an ambition to consolidate the technology into its financial and growth strategies. We also appreciate its intention to build up industrial norms, or tariff incentives to support blockchain-based businesses.

Hong Kong has a robust system that has given birth to Animoca Brands, Crypto.com, BitMEX and many other exceptional companies in the industry. And on a global scale, Switzerland has SEBA Bank, the first regulated crypto bank in the country. In 2016, Zugs local government became the first municipality in the world to accept taxes in Bitcoin; and in 2020, the Swiss authorities allowed citizens and companies based in Zug to pay their taxes in either Bitcoin or Ether.

Other countries such as the United States, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and South Africa also play significant parts in the blockchain ecosystem.

 

3 What would you like to see tokenized? When, if ever, do you expect this to happen?

The history of art in museums, like the Dunhuang Murals. I visited years ago and learned that many experts and scientists are working tirelessly to discover a solution to slow down the oxidation of wall paintings caused by light and air exposure. Tokenizing these could help bring in more money for research and democratize art investment by making art pieces accessible to the general public. It could happen at any time.

In addition, charity work and support for research would be great to see tokenized, especially under the shadow of COVID-19.

 

4 What makes sense to you, and what makes no sense whatsoever?

Gender equality. As a young female entrepreneur who originates from the East and connects to the West, I plead for more investment and education around women. I have met so many powerful women of diverse backgrounds, and they are just as smart and hard-working as men. In reality, challenges remain: There is discriminatory legislation, societal practices persist, and women continue to be underrepresented in leadership at all levels.

Speaking of education, children being taught to learn for the sake of their parents pride does not make sense to me. We should pay attention to personal growth.

 

5 Which alternate movie universe would you most like to live in, and why?

Marvels. It dawned on me at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that we really could have a mighty superhero who could save thousands of lives. Furthermore, the films are about incredible, exciting voyages through time and space. Id love to discover new worlds. For the time being, Ill have to settle on crypto as my wild new world to explore.

 

6 Think of a favorite poem or musical lyric. What is it, and why does it speak to you?

From Bring in the Wine by Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty: When hopes are won, oh, drink your fill in high delight; And never leave your wine cup empty in the moonlight! Heaven has made us talents; were not made in vain. A thousand gold coins spent; more will turn up again. For people who might be interested in the original version

I learned this classical Chinese poem during middle school, and it was eye-opening for me at the time how people living thousands of years ago could live their life to the fullest even when excluded from a position working for the emperor. I guess thats how I learned about resilience and not being afraid of challenges.

Even today, I still remember every single word of this poem that inspires and empowers me its like Im encouraged to be someone like Li Bai, who continues to push forward despite the difficulties and stay truthful. I just keep on doing things I believe in, even when feeling down.

 

A wish for the young, ambitious blockchain community:

Be aggressive and inclusive. Get to know your community, and listen to your community. Lift and add value to one another through collaboration and fair competition.

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Mike Pompeo’s Revealing Hudson Institute Speech

Mike Pompeo’s Revealing Hudson Institute Speech

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Former CIA director and secretary…

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Mike Pompeo's Revealing Hudson Institute Speech

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Former CIA director and secretary of state Mike Pompeo gave a speech at the Hudson Institute last week that’s probably worth taking a look at just because of how much it reveals about the nature of the US empire and the corrupt institutions which influence its policies.

Pompeo is serving as a “Distinguished Fellow” at the Hudson Institute while he waits for the revolving door of the DC swamp to rotate him back into a federal government position. The Hudson Institute is a neoconservative think tank which has a high degree of overlap with the infamous Project for the New American Century and its lineup of Iraq war architects, and spends a lot of its time manufacturing Beltway support for hawkish agendas against Iran. It was founded in 1961 with the help of a cold warrior named Herman Kahn, whose enthusiastic support for the idea that the US can win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union was reportedly an inspiration for the movie Dr Strangelove.

A think tank is an institution where academics are paid by the worst people in the world to come up with explanations for why it would be good and smart to do something evil and stupid, which are then pitched at key points of influence in the media and the government. “Think tank” is a good and accurate label for these institutions, because they are dedicated to controlling what people think, and because they are artificial enclosures for slimy creatures.

Pompeo’s speech is one long rimjob for the military-industrial complex which indirectly employs him. He repeatedly sings the praises of the weapons that are being poured into Ukraine, two of them by name: the Patriot missile built by Raytheon and the Javelin missile built jointly by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, both of whom happen to be major funders of the Hudson Institute. He repeatedly decries the “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” and excoriates the Biden administration for failing to control the world’s fossil fuel resources aggressively enough in its efforts to “prostrate itself to radicals.”

Pompeo, easily ranked among the most fanatical imperialists on the entire planet, hilariously says that “China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a form of imperialism.” He decries a “genocide” in Xinjiang and repeatedly implies that China deliberately unleashed Covid-19 upon the world, calling it “the global pandemic induced by China.” He repeatedly claims that Vladimir Putin is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union.

Along with praise for NATO and for the various anti-China alliances in the Indo-Pacific, Pompeo names “Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan” as “the three lighthouses for liberty” which those alliances must work to support militarily. You will notice that those three “lighthouses” just so happen to be the hottest points of geostrategic conflict with the top three opponents of the US empire: Russia, Iran, and China.

But there are a couple of things Pompeo says which have some real meat on them.

“By aiding Ukraine, we undermined the creation of a Russian-Chinese axis bent on exerting military and economic hegemony in Europe, in Asia and in the Middle East,” Pompeo says.

“We must prevent the formation of a Pan-Eurasian colossus incorporating Russia, but led by China,” he later adds. “To do that, we have to strengthen NATO, and we see that nothing hinders Finland and Sweden’s entry into that organization.”

That’s all the major international news stories of today are ultimately about, right there. Underlying all the smaller news stories about conflicts with nations like Russia, China and Iran, there’s one continuous story about the US power alliance trying to secure planetary domination by relentlessly working to subvert any nation which refuses to align with it, and about the nations who oppose that campaign working against it with steadily increasing intimacy.

This is all the Russia hysteria from 2016 onward has been about. This is all the phony, hypocritical hand-wringing about Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong have been about. This is all the staged histrionics about human rights in Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba have been about. It’s all been about manufacturing international consent for an increasingly dangerous campaign to secure unipolar global hegemony at any cost.

It’s worth calling this to mind, as NATO for the first time designates China a threat due to its alignment with Russia and as NATO’s secretary-general admits that NATO has been preparing for a conflict with Russia since 2014. It is worth calling to mind the fact that the US has had a policy in place since the fall of the Soviet Union to prevent the rise of any rival superpower to deny any serious challenge to its planetary domination. It is worth calling to mind that in 1997 the precursor to the US Space Force committed to working toward “full spectrum dominance,” meaning military control over land, sea, air, and space.

People like to talk about secret conspiracies by shadowy cabals to establish a one-world government, but what is by far the most tangible and imminent global domination agenda has been orchestrated right out in the open. The US government has long sought to unite the world under a single power structure, no matter how much violence and devastation it needs to inflict upon humanity and no matter how much world-threatening nuclear brinkmanship it needs to engage in to do so.

This is the US empire which corrupt psychopaths like Mike Pompeo support. A power structure which wages nonstop wars in order to keep the peace, which continually oppresses populations around the world in order to protect freedom, and which risks nuclear war with increasingly reckless aggression to in order save the world.

*  *  *

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Tyler Durden Sat, 07/02/2022 - 21:30

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Argentina Starts Seizing Crypto Wallets Linked To Tax Delinquents

Argentina starts seizing crypto wallets linked to tax delinquents and they started with 1000 crypto wallets already so let’s read more today in our cryptocurrency…

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Argentina starts seizing crypto wallets linked to tax delinquents and they started with 1000 crypto wallets already so let’s read more today in our cryptocurrency news.

The Argentinian tax avoiders are seeing their crypto wallets seized by the local tax authority with more than 1000 wallets already being seized. As per the reports from local media outlet iProUP, the courts in Argentina authorized the seizure of 1269 crypto wallets belonging to citizens with outstanding debt to the Federal Administration of Public Income.

Argentina starts seizing crypto wallets after AFIP signed its intent to go after the tax delinquents back in May and it even ordered the exchanges and payment service providers to deliver monthly reports on the users of their platforms. The services were requested to verify the identity of the clients and to keep records of user accounts and detailed statements including income, expenses, and monthly balances.

With the companies supplying the information to the tax authorities, AFIP was able to enforce embargoes on the holdings in the wallets connected to errant taxpayers over the past few months. The AFIP current standard operating procedure often targets bank accounts and other liquid assets to recoup the debt. If the taxpayer cannot settle the debt or is unbanked, the AFIP will seize other assets belonging to the individual. The COVID pandemic gave some respite to Argentinians that were in the crosshair of the aFIP as a 19-month moratorium on asset seizures was enforced to ease the pressure on citizens.

The move came as Argentinians continued adopting crypto to combat the inflation and the devaluing peso and the general economic malaise. The reports cite data from the American Market Intelligence which noted that Argentina saw an increase in crypto adoption that eclipsed other South American countries that are driven by citizens that are looking for safe haven against the surging inflation. While the tax authority hones in on the digital assets and non-compliant taxpayers, the government and the central bank were at odds over the crypto treatment. President Alberto Fernandez made headlines by outlining the potential for crypto to help battle inflation in 2021 as the central bank president hinted at legislation and regulation of the industry while bringing them closer to the conventional financial system.

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