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Latam Insights: Bitcoin Hurts El Salvador Credit Opportunities, Par…

  

Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of Latin America’s most relevant crypto and economic news during the last week. In this issue: Bitcoin hinders El Salvador’s credit talks with the IMF, the Paraguayan Senate issues a statement supporting bitcoin miners, and Venezuela unveils a crypto-linked corruption scheme.

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JPMorgan Warns of Downside Risk in Crypto Markets

JPMorgan has warned of a downside risk in crypto markets, citing subdued crypto venture capital flows. The global investment bank’s analysts also remain cautious about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlighting spot ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in May.

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Coinbase Challenges SEC’s Definition of 'Investment Contracts' in…

In a recent legal challenge, Coinbase has filed a brief with the Southern District of New York, seeking permission for an interlocutory appeal against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s expansive interpretation of what constitutes an “investment contract” in digital asset transactions.

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Solana Developers Test Congestion Fixes in Testnet, Introduce Measu…

  

Anza, a collective of developers focused on the Solana blockchain, has produced a fix that aims to reduce the congestion that the network has been experiencing. The new version of Solana, now being tried in testnet, includes a feature called stake-weighted quality of service (SWQOS), that prioritizes transactions from higher quality validators.

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Former Security Engineer Sentenced to Three Years for Hacking Two D…

  

A former security engineer, who stole digital assets valued at more than $12 million from two decentralized exchanges, has received a three-year prison sentence. In what has been characterized as the “first-ever” conviction for a smart contract hack, the U.S. Judge also ordered the ex-engineer to forfeit roughly $12.3 million.

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Robert Kiyosaki Explains Why He Won't Buy Bitcoin ETF

Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki has explained why he won’t invest in a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). “Just as I own gold and silver coins and mines and own apartment houses, I do not own gold or silver ETFs,” he stressed. The famous author stated this week that he believes the price of bitcoin will reach $2.3 million.

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Cleanspark to Upgrade Mining Fleet With 100,000 S21 Pro Bitcoin Min…

The publicly traded bitcoin mining company Cleanspark has exercised its option to acquire 100,000 bitcoin mining machines from Bitmain. The firm initially secured the option last year, and the agreement has now been enhanced to include the latest S21 Pro model from Bitmain, which offers 15 joules per terahash (J/T).

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Venezuelan Probe Unveils Crypto Money Laundering Scheme Linked to O…

The Venezuelan Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, unveiled the second wave of detentions linked to a crypto money laundering scheme derived from unregistered oil sales paid in different currencies and crypto.

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Sam Bankman-Fried Files Notice of Appeal, Challenges Conviction and…

  

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried formally lodged an appeal against both his conviction and sentence with the District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on Thursday. Bankman-Fried’s legal representatives had anticipated this move, having previously requested that he remain at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) to facilitate the appeals process.

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7-Day NFT Sales Increase by 37%, Bitcoin-Based Collections Lead

Sales volumes of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recorded a more than 37% increase to $277 million in the seven-day period ending April 11. Six of the top 10 collections with the largest sales volumes were Bitcoin-based NFTs. Some experts attribute the renewed interest in NFTs to the rise of real-world assets and NFTs with built-in utility.

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Next Bitcoin Halving to Propel Prices to Between $150,000 and $169,…

A new analysis by Bitfinex researchers predicts a 160% surge in bitcoin’s price in the upcoming 12-14 months, potentially reaching over $150,000 per unit. This forecast, derived from historical data and statistical models related to previous Bitcoin halving events, suggests a bullish future for the world’s leading digital currency.

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Ark Invest's ETF Holds Unique 'Bitcoin Puppet' NFT Worth Over $27,000

  

According to onchain metrics, Ark Invest’s holdings in its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) include several inscriptions, among them an Ordinal inscription from the “Bitcoin Puppet” digital collectible series, valued at $27,900.

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Detained Binance Executive Pleads Not Guilty; Nigerian Judge Sends…

  

The Binance executive detained by Nigerian authorities for nearly six weeks has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering. Binance expressed deep disappointment that Tigran Gambaryan, who holds no decision-making power within the company, remains in detention.

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Brazilian BV Bank Tests Tokenized Model for Vehicle Sales

BV Bank, a Brazilian bank leader in vehicle loans, is running a pilot that uses tokenization to manage vehicle financing and sales operations. The first phase of the tests involves automating consumer-to-consumer vehicle sales processes, including the delivery of tokenized money in exchange for the ownership of the vehicle.

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Kevin O'Leary Reveals Crypto Now Makes up 11% of His Portfolio

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, has revealed that cryptocurrencies now represent about 11% of his portfolio. He stressed that he owns crypto coins directly and would never buy spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). “I would never do that. Why would I pay the fees?” he emphasized, adding that he owns bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies.

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Ripple CEO Expects Crypto Market Cap to Double This Year — 'I'm V…

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says he is “very optimistic” about the crypto market, predicting it could double its market cap this year. The executive explained that the macro trends, such as the spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), are driving “real institutional money” into the crypto space for the first time.

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Coinbase Anticipates Bitcoin Dips to Be 'More Aggressively Bought'…

  

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase says bitcoin dips are likely to be “more aggressively bought compared to previous cycles, even as volatility persists during price discovery.” The crypto firm noted that the impact of U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the larger inflow of institutional demand can be seen in the open interest of bitcoin futures.

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Grayscale Removes Cardano From Its Crypto Large Cap Fund

Grayscale Investments has removed cardano from its Digital Large Cap Fund. The crypto fund now holds bitcoin, ethereum, solana, XRP, and avalanche. The crypto asset manager also adjusted the holdings of its Smart Contract Platform Ex-Ethereum Fund.

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Robert Kiyosaki Responds to Bitcoin Crashing to $200 Prediction by…

Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki has shared what he will do if the price of bitcoin crashes to $200 as predicted by economist Harry Dent. “Harry Dent is predicting the biggest ‘everything’ crash is coming,” the famous author said, emphasizing: “I am a hard, real money advocate, and I only save real gold, silver, and bitcoin. I recommend the same for you and your family.”

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Miners Offload Bitcoin in Anticipation of Reward Halving, Says Cryp…

Data from Cryptoquant indicates that bitcoin miners have been offloading their assets in anticipation of the upcoming Bitcoin network halving, slated to take place in two weeks. Cryptoquant highlighted a peak in daily sales to over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks, a figure unmatched since the summer of 2023.

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NFT Sales Slide Continues Amid Record Crypto Volumes, Marking Fourt…

Over the past week, sales volume for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) experienced another week-on-week decrease, marking a 13.72% reduction. This downturn marks the fourth consecutive week of declining NFT sales, a stark contrast to the record-breaking achievements witnessed throughout other sectors in March.

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Binance: Detained Executive Lacks Decision-Making Authority, Must B…

  

Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance employee detained by Nigerian authorities, is a stringent law enforcement professional with no decision-making authority, according to the crypto exchange. Through his Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) team, Gambaryan has responded to more than 600 information requests from Nigerian authorities.

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Chinese Government Launches 'Ultra-Large Scale Blockchain Infrastru…

  

The Chinese government is reportedly launching an “ultra-large-scale blockchain infrastructure platform for the Belt and Road Initiative.” The platform will support the implementation of cross-border cooperation projects along the Belt and Road Initiative and provide the base for developing applications that showcase collaboration across borders.

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Bitcoin Cash Undergoes Halving Event, Sets Stage for May Upgrade

The Bitcoin Cash network has witnessed its halving event at block height 840,000, leading to a reduction in the miner reward to 3.125 coins per block from the previous 6.25 coins.

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Arkon Energy Strikes Deal With Bitmain for 27,700 Bitcoin Mining Rigs

On Tuesday, the Ohio-based bitcoin mining and colocation company Arkon Energy announced its procurement of 27,700 bitcoin mining rigs from Bitmain, equaling a hashpower of 6 exahash per second (EH/s).

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Standardization of Blockchain Data Format Enhances Interoperability…

According to Nick Yushkevich, standardization of blockchain data formats is crucial as it enhances the interoperability of distinct protocols and fosters broader adoption of the technology. Yushkevich, the director of product at blockchain infrastructure provider Quicknode, added that such standardization helps to improve communication between systems.

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