This is an opinion editorial by Michael Markle, a member of the San Juan BitDevs meetup.
Puerto Rico has seen it all, from currency devaluations, confiscation of wealth, natural disasters, colonizers and fights for independence, all in less than 100 years. Before that, Pedro Albizu Campos fought for Puerto Rico to have its own identity, its own independence and its own sovereignty.
But now the world has a decentralized money that can provide Puerto Rico with the independence and identity that it has been starved for and deserves.
The History Of Currency In Puerto Rico
In 1889, Puerto Rico suffered a 40% currency devaluation, crippling the Puerto Rican economy. This was caused by the United States setting up the American Colonial Bank and declaring the U.S. dollar as legal tender (the official money) of Puerto Rico, changing it from the peso.
However, in 1899, one peso was only worth 60 cents, meaning the local businesses of Puerto Rico and its citizens lost 40% of their net worths overnight from causes totally outside of their control. This resulted in Puerto Ricans, attempting to save their net worths, borrowing money from the American Colonial Bank. However, high interest rates made it very unlikely that locals were going to be able to pay back their loans, causing many Puerto Ricans to default on their debt. The result was that the bank seized their assets (in these days, typically their land).
The Response From The United States Central Bank In 2020
Puerto Rico uses the U.S. dollar as its legal tender and is vulnerable to the consequences of reckless monetary policy, including the expansion of this money supply (inflation), and has already experienced major currency devaluation (as noted above). Looking at the 2020 section of the chart above, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States central bank printed about 20% of the total dollars circulating in the economy, flooding the market with dollars. Money printing has devastating consequences on local economies, especially for lower- and middle-income families. Money printing results in a wider wealth gap with goods and services becoming more expensive. Home prices and food prices in Puerto Rico are rapidly increasing.
The Legacy Of Pedro Albizu Campos
Who was Pedro Albizu Campos? A man who valued human freedoms, the right to privacy, self sovereignty, independence and prosperity.
He grew up in the Machuelo Abajo section of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Incredibly well educated, Campos graduated from a top-tier school in the United States and could speak six languages. He was that guy, he led by example, showed up every day to lead, instilled values, dreamed big and provided inclusiveness regardless of class or status. He was a true man of the people, who understood the power within others, recognizing that they don’t need to be dependent on anyone else.
During his time, his focus in particular was Puerto Rico’s freedom and independence. Understanding the in-depth history of Puerto Rico is crucial to understanding why he chose this focus. If Alibuzu Campos was alive today, he would be a Bitcoiner. I encourage everyone to read the “War Against All Puerto Ricans” by Nelson A. Denis for the full story.
Banking The Unbanked
Puerto Rico has about 3.2 million residents and many are estimated to have 36% of its population unbanked.
When individuals don’t have access to proper banking or financial services, the implications are devastating. Bitcoin not only allows anyone to open a bank account, it allows anyone to become their own banker.
- Decentralized: Bitcoin is the first form of money in the history of human existence that is not controlled by any individual, corporation or government.
- Open: Bitcoin allows anyone to participate in the network. It doesn’t recognize race, borders, religions or any cultural identities. On a deeper level, it doesn’t even recognize humans or age.
- Permissionless: Bitcoin doesn’t require permission from a government or third party to save or transact value, meaning that the only participants in a financial transaction are the senders and receivers. No banks, PayPals, Venmos, ATH Móvil, etc. are involved. You don’t need permission to open a savings account.
- Unconfiscatable: With Bitcoin, your wealth is protected for generations to come. This is made possible by encrypted keys (passwords) that only you may know. It cannot be frozen, seized or stolen from you. If you die without a contingency plan, your bitcoin will die with you and can’t ever be spent.
- Transparent: Bitcoin’s transaction ledger is available to anyone at any time. Issuance of the currency is known and cannot be changed. Bitcoin’s network audits the ledger every 10 minutes to ensure all participants are operating within the rules of the network.
- Absolute Scarcity: Bitcoin has absolute scarcity. Only 21 million bitcoin will ever exist. Bitcoin can’t be replicated, duplicated, counterfeited or double spent. Bitcoin is the perfect unit of account.
- Growth In The Future: Bitcoin allows Puerto Ricans to become individually sovereign. Bitcoin separates money from the power of the State, just as critically as the separation of the church from the government was in the 18th century, which led to the great enlightenment. We can’t rely on systems of trust in individuals, institutions or governments to have control over our financial destiny. Bitcoin is trustless — verify everything.
Love For Puerto Rico
My inspiration to write this piece came from not only being a bitcoiner but from being a local of Puerto Rico. I love the people, the communities and the values that are instilled in this island.
Puerto Rico offers an Act 60 decree for business and individuals who can move form the United States to the island and establish businesses there, which enables them not to pay any capital gains taxes and only a 4% income tax as long as they spend 51% of their time in Puerto Rico.
Now, to be clear, Act 60 provides tremendous value to Puerto Rico and should be embraced. However, on the contrary, Act 60 also provides an open invitation to bad actors and scammers who can walk away from their scams in the form of failed projects/businesses without tax implications. During the 2021 crypto bull market, I saw personally that Puerto Rico became a cesspool of individuals who launched cryptocurrency projects and marketed their questionable financial innovations to everyday investors, only to walk away from the projects with large sums of investors’ money, burning those who invested with funds earned from working real jobs that provided real benefits to the world. There are countless examples of this, which provide context and makes it understandable as to why many locals may have resentment toward cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is not crypto, Bitcoin is not a Ponzi scheme, Bitcoin is not an individual nor company, Bitcoin is not an Act 60 beneficiary, Bitcoin is not colonialism, Bitcoin is not instilled by the government. Bitcoin is money, Bitcoin is freedom, Bitcoin is independence, Bitcoin allows every Puerto Rican to have the individual prosperity that many locals have defended and died for.
Bitcoin is Puerto Rico’s chance to have an independent identity while allowing its citizens to be 100% self sovereign. Adapting a bitcoin standard would provide tremendous benefit for places like Puerto Rico. Learn what bitcoin is, educate others, become individually sovereign and start building the Puerto Rico your ancestors envisioned.
This is a guest post by Michael Markle. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
FTX Attorneys To Drag SBF’s Parents And Brother In Questioning About Their Personal Wealth
The tragedy of FTX appears to be becoming more personal, as the bankrupt exchange’s legal counsels are now seeking to drag the founder’s family members and grill them about how they established their affluence.
In a court filing, FTX attorneys requested that Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, testify under oath and produce financial papers regarding their personal fortune as part of the company’s effort to reclaim funds that may be used to repay creditors.
Gabriel, the brother of former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, will also be questioned in court over any financial benefits he may have gotten from the company.
SBF, although being collaborative to the point of spending the rest of his life in prison, has neglected to provide federal prosecutors with all the necessary information regarding the diverted money, resulting in the current situation.
Lawyers Seek Answer From SBF Family If They Received Money From FTX
In light of claims that FTX shifted billions of dollars in investor cash to prop up his Alameda Research trading unit, federal authorities have accused him with fraud. SBF entered a not-guilty plea.
According to reports, other FTX executives may be subject to the same inquiry in an attempt to locate assets associated with the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.
Sources also have it that Bankman-Fried’s mother provided tax advice and recruitment assistance to FTX personnel.
FTX former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. Image: CNA.
Reportedly, his father served as a tax counsel to employees of the company and provided recommendations for the appointment of the company’s legal team.
Supposedly, Gabriel established a lobbying group and housed its operations in a mansion worth several million dollars not far from the U.S. Capitol.
It has been stated that his mother and brother are not helping with the investigation that is currently taking place into FTX.
Reuters reported in November that Bankman-Fried’s parents were signatories on a $16.4 million residence in the Bahamas, which was designated in property records as a “holiday home.”
FTX Owes Thousands Of Creditors Money
SBF faces eight criminal counts, including violations of campaign finance regulations and wire fraud. Since his extradition from the Bahamas to the United States, he has been under house arrest at his parents’ home. His trial is scheduled to commence in October.
After the collapse of the once-powerful cryptocurrency exchange in November, newly released bankruptcy records revealed thousands of creditors to whom FTX owes funds.
Wall Street stalwarts like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were included on the 116-page list of creditors, which also included firms, charities, people, and other institutions.
Crypto total market cap at $996 billion on the daily chart | Chart: TradingView.com
Meanwhile, FTX has opposed to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice for an independent inquiry into the company’s collapse, claiming that it is already conducting a comprehensive review that includes family members of SBF.
FTT, the native token of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, had risen by 185% over the last 30 days.
At the time of writing, the altcoin was trading for $1,940, a decrease of approximately 22% from its previous price of $2,4.00.
-Featured image: Novel Suspects
Kraken Appoints CJ Rinaldi as Chief Compliance Officer
New CCO brings three decades of financial services experience
SAN FRANCISCO – Jan. 24, 2023 – Kraken, one of the world’s largest and most-trusted crypto platforms, today announced the appointment of CJ Rinaldi as Chief Compliance Officer. CJ’s decades of experience, both in traditional and decentralized finance, will further strengthen Kraken’s compliance program amid a fast-evolving regulatory landscape.
“To accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world, Kraken must continue to navigate an increasingly complex regulatory landscape,” said Kraken’s incoming CEO David Ripley. “CJ’s impressive international career in both the private and public sectors positions us for continued success in meeting global compliance needs.”
CJ was previously Chief Compliance Officer at Blockchain.com, where he was tasked with building out global compliance frameworks and mitigating compliance risk for the firm. Prior to that, CJ had several roles at Deutsche Bank, including Chief Compliance Officer for its swap dealer and US broker dealer. He also served as Head of Business Line Anti-Financial Crimes Compliance supporting its investment bank, where he led a global team tasked with mitigating financial crime risk, implementing procedures and controls through effective and efficient operational solutions.
“Kraken’s commitment to security and transparency while building world class products and services makes it the gold standard in an industry that’s shaping the future of finance. It is trusted players like Kraken that will help ensure the crypto ecosystem operates within all regulatory frameworks” says Rinaldi. “I am excited to grow Kraken’s data-driven approach to compliance, ensuring the protection of both the company and its clients.”
Prior to Deutsche Bank, CJ worked at UBS Investment Bank in multiple roles, including as Global Head of Client Infrastructure. He also served as Senior Counsel in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
For more information, please visit kraken.com or reach out to [email protected].
Kraken is one of the world’s longest-standing digital asset platforms. Globally, Kraken clients trade more than 200 digital assets and 8 different national currencies, including GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, JPY, CHF, AUD and AED.
Kraken was founded in 2011 and was one of the first exchanges to offer spot trading with margin, parachain auctions, staking, regulated derivatives and index services. In 2022, it launched a custodial NFT marketplace. Kraken is trusted by over 9 million traders and institutions around the world and offers professional, round-the-clock online support. Kraken was the first company to have ever conducted a Proof of Reserves audit and has since committed to undergoing Proof of Reserves on a regular basis.
Kraken is backed by investors including Tribe Capital, SkyBridge, Hummingbird Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, among others.
Kraken markets can be monitored and traded through the Kraken iOS and Android apps, and through the Cryptowatch iOS, Android and Desktop apps.
These materials are for general information purposes only and are not investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any cryptoasset or to engage in any specific trading strategy. Some crypto products and markets are unregulated, and you may not be protected by government compensation and/or regulatory protection schemes. The unpredictable nature of the cryptoasset markets can lead to loss of funds. Tax may be payable on any return and/or on any increase in the value of your cryptoassets and you should seek independent advice on your taxation position. For more information, please see our Terms of Service.
OANDA opens up the crypto market for traders in Singapore
OANDA, a leading online trading platform, has been named Singapore’s #1 crypto broker for client satisfaction, according to a recent survey conducted by a leading financial news outlet. This marks the second consecutive year OANDA has received this honor, solidifying its position as the go-to choice for crypto traders in Singapore.
The crypto industry is believed to have the potential to revolutionize financial transactions by using decentralized currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt various industries. The crypto industry is still in its early stages but has significant potential for growth and innovation. OANDA is at the forefront of this industry in Singapore.
The survey, which evaluated the top crypto brokers in Singapore based on various factors such as customer service, platform usability, and trading options, found that OANDA stood out for its commitment to providing a top-notch trading experience for its clients. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the OANDA team, who strive to constantly improve the platform and add new features to meet the evolving needs of its clients.
In response to the growing demand for crypto trading options, OANDA has opened up its crypto market to traders, allowing them to buy and sell Ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies. The platform offers a user-friendly interface and advanced tools to help traders make informed decisions and 24/7 customer support.
Why Choose OANDA?
One of the key features of the OANDA crypto market is its Ethereum trade offering. Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and is widely considered one of the most promising digital assets in the crypto space. By offering Ethereum trade options, OANDA allows traders to access this growing market and potentially benefit from its upward trend.
In addition to Ethereum, OANDA’s crypto market also offers trading options for other popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple. This makes it a one-stop shop for crypto enthusiasts, as they can access a wide range of digital assets all in one place.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as Singapore’s #1 crypto broker for client satisfaction,” said Phil Waters, CEO of OANDA Asia Pacific. “We understand the importance of providing our clients with the best possible trading experience, and we are constantly working to improve our platform and add new features. Our goal is to empower traders of all levels to participate in the crypto market with confidence.”
One of the ways OANDA empowers its clients is through its educational resources. The platform offers a variety of educational materials, such as webinars, e-books, and articles, designed to help traders of all experience levels better understand the crypto market and how to trade successfully.
Furthermore, OANDA’s customer support team is available 24/7 to assist clients with any questions or concerns. This ensures that traders can access the help they need anytime, which is especially important in the fast-paced world of crypto trading.
OANDA Prioritizes Security Above All Else
Another important aspect of OANDA’s platform is its security. The platform utilizes state-of-the-art encryption technology to protect client information and assets. Additionally, OANDA’s servers are located in secure, geographically-dispersed data centers to ensure that client assets are always accessible.
Prospective investors can take advantage of OANDA’s Ethereum trade, among others, to scale their investments. The platform also offers trading options for other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple, making it a one-stop shop for crypto enthusiasts.
With the growing popularity of Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, the team believes it’s important to provide traders with access to a wide range of assets. Their goal is to be the go-to choice for crypto traders in Singapore and beyond.
In conclusion, OANDA has proven to be a trusted and reliable choice for crypto traders in Singapore. With its user-friendly platform, advanced tools, and wide range of digital assets, OANDA is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of its clients. Its commitment to customer satisfaction, as well as its educational resources, 24/7 customer support, and state-of-the-art security measures, make it a top choice for traders of all levels.
For more information, visit their website at https://www.oanda.com/us-en/trading/cryptocurrencies/ and experience the OANDA difference. Their Ethereum trade offering is just the beginning, and the team looks forward to expanding their crypto market offerings in the future.
Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be treated as news/advice.
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