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November 24, 2020

On the wires

Circle Partners with Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Airtm to Deliver Aid to Venezuelans Using USDC

“Through a collaboration with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, led by President-elect Juan Guaido, U.S.-based fintech innovator Airtm, and coordination with the US government, we were able to put in place an aid disbursement pipeline that leveraged the power of USDC — dollar-backed, open, internet-based digital currency payments — to bypass the controls imposed by Maduro over the domestic financial system and put millions of dollars of funds into the hands of people fighting for the health and safety of the people of Venezuela.”

November 16, 2020

On the web

Zelle Has Turned Dollar-Starved Venezuela Into a Cashless Test Lab

Bloomberg (paywall)

PayPal and Venmo may have achieved the status of verbs in the U.S., but in Venezuela, it’s Zelle—or “Zell-ey”—that’s on everyone’s lips. Across Caracas, homemade signs that read Aceptamos Zelle (We accept Zelle) dangle in store windows and off produce stands. Computer printouts of the purple company logo are taped to cash registers in supermarkets, some of which have dedicated lines for customers paying with the app. The improvised signage is a hint that Venezuelans’ use of Zelle to provide relief from a rapidly depreciating currency and runaway inflation, while not prohibited, could certainly be described as off-label.”

May 21, 2019

On the web

Venezuela to Ditch Visa & Mastercard by Early 2020 – Reports

RT International

“The central bank of Venezuela will develop an independent national payment system to get rid of international giants Visa and Mastercard in response to US sanctions, according to local media citing the regulator. The document, which also separately mentions multi-national debit card service Maestro owned by Mastercard, orders a suspension of debit card operations starting November 2019 and payments via credit cards from January 2020.”

April 23, 2018

On the web

19 crore (1.9M) Indian adults don’t have bank account: World Bank


“Besides, almost half of the bank accounts remained inactive in the past year, the multilateral financial institution said in a report, even as it lauded the Indian government’s financial inclusion scheme, the Jan Dhan Yojana, for bringing in additional 31 crore Indians into formal banking system by March 2018. It also said the country’s adult population with a bank account has more than doubled to 80% since 2011.”

February 21, 2018

On the web

Venezuela says launch of ‘petro’ cryptocurrency raised $735 million

“President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Venezuela had received $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country’s “petro” cryptocurrency, aimed at pulling the country out of an economic tailspin … Blockchain experts have warned the petro is unlikely to attract significant investment. Opposition leaders have said the sale constitutes an illegal debt issuance that circumvents Venezuela’s majority-opposition legislature, and the U.S. Treasury Department has warned it may violate sanctions levied last year.”

February 20, 2018

On the web

Venezuela launches oil cryptocurrency

“Venezuela has launched a cryptocurrency in an attempt to bypass tough economic sanctions imposed by the US government. The “Petro” is intended to bolster the country’s crumbling economy, which has been suffering from hyperinflation and devaluation for years. Venezuela claims it is the world’s first sovereign cryptocurrency.”

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