Category Archive : Venezuela

AP Business SummaryBrief at 12:39 pm EDT | Business | – Fort Bend Herald

AP Business SummaryBrief at 12:39 pm EDT | Business |  Fort Bend Herald

North Korea crypto hack & the Venezuelan Petro

This week, Tegan and Tim dive into the rise and extreme fall of the state-sanctioned Venezuelan cryptocurrency, the Petro. They also explore North Korean crypto hackers and the Bored Apes starting an NFT band.

If you thought that cryptocurrency was designed to be decentralised, you’d be absolutely right. At least, that was the original aim. But that didn’t stop Venezuela from trying to solve its severe economic troubles and creating its own coin called the Petro.

In this episode, Tegan and Tim deep dive into the Petro, the dictatorial government that drove it and the ironically anti-government coder behind it all. Strap yourself in for a wild ride.

They also chat about Universal launching a Bored Ape NFT band (yes you read that correctly) and the allegedly state-funded North Korean crypto hackers.

Listen to the episode: North Korean crypto hacks and the Venezuelan Petro explained

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Show notes and sources


Trendsetters On The Midas List 2022: Tech’s First Movers

Each year, we dig into the data behind the Midas List in an effort to provide some analytical insight into the top-performing investors and their success. We often see investments in both familiar household names and industry newcomers propel the top 25 venture capitalists. We also reflect on investing trends that have led to the most success and which VCs led the push into the newest generation of high-growth companies generating outsized returns amid ever-changing market conditions.

Many of this year’s trendsetters reflect some of the earliest movers in two sectors, crypto and fintech, that have experienced outsized growth – in part due to the pandemic, but also as consumers increasingly take control of their financial futures and rely less on traditional banks and retail investing strategies. Investments in fintech companies reached a new high in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2018, showing just how big the VC appetite was for the sector last year. And, almost half of all cryptocurrency owners in the US, Latin America, and Asia purchased digital assets for the first time in 2021, according to a survey from cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

Crypto and fintech have witnessed the rise of several new areas of innovation recently, drawing even more investor interest to the sectors – many of which were funded by the names below. And of course, early bets on ecommerce and consumer-facing companies (i.e., food delivery, media, gaming) continue to define the best-performing portfolio companies of many of our trendsetters.

While current inflationary trends cast a shadow of uncertainty for many of the growth stocks that rose to fame in 2021 – mirroring a pullback in listed technology stocks and the IPO window – this years’ Midas List trendsetters placed their bets early and strategically, leading to a knockout year. Below is our second annual list of Midas Trendsetters whose multiple, early bets across high-growth industries newly catering…


What is Central Bank Digital Currency? Here is all you need to know

CBDC will be backed by distributed ledger technology but will be a permissioned blockchain which will make it different from other permissionless crypto assets.

Our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made CBDC as a household term as it has been the latest buzzword with many of us wondering – What is it and how will it work? For those, who are unaware of the crypto or blockchain world, the fad CBDC is Central Bank Digital Currency, which is a government-issued digital currency and is backed by the central bank of the concerned nation.

In India’s case, it is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Putting it in simpler terms, a CBDC is the legal tender of a particular country as it is issued by the central bank but in the digital form. It is an electronic record or digital token of the official currency issued by the monetary authority of a nation.

A survey conducted by Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in 2021 revealed that 86 percent of the central banks were exploring the potential of CBDCs and about 15 percent of the states are set to launch their pilot projects. The CBDC will fulfil the basic functions as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, and standard of deferred payment. CBDC is the same as currency issued by a central bank but takes a different form than paper (or polymer). Even our Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the CBDC launched by RBI will be as good as India’s fiat currency – Indian National Rupee (INR) and will be exchangeable to the cash at par. It is sovereign currency in an electronic form and will appear as liability (currency in circulation) on a central bank’s balance sheet, says the RBI website.

Need of CBDC

CBDC will be backed by distributed ledger technology (DLT) but will be a permissioned blockchain which will make it different from other permissionless crypto assets. The central monetary authority will have control access to the blockchain. Central banks are facing dwindling usage of paper…


Pfizer CEO calls people who spread misinformation about Covid vaccines ‘criminals’ 

Pfizer Inc’s CEO said people who spread misinformation about his company’s COVID-19 vaccine are ‘criminals.’

Albert Bourla made the comments while speaking to the Atlantic Council, a Washington D.C.=based think-tank with a focus on foreign policy.  

His company is the distributor of the most commonly used Covid vaccine in the U.S., and has negotiated vaccine sales worth millions of dollars with nations around the world.

Vaccine misinformation has become rampant in the U.S., with millions of Americans believing false claims about the jabs such as them causing infertility and that they contain a microchip.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told a small group on Tuesday that people who publish misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines are ‘criminals’, according to a CNBC report. Pictured: Bourla speaks at at opening ceremony for a new Pfizer facility in Thessaloniki, Greece on October 12

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the most commonly used jab in the United States, and has been used to fully vaccinated 104 million out of 194 million fully immunized Americans (file image)

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the most commonly used jab in the United States, and has been used to fully vaccinated 104 million out of 194 million fully immunized Americans (file image)

‘Those people are criminals,’ Bourla told Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council CEO, and a ‘very small’ group, according to CNBC.

‘They’re not bad people. They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives.’  

While a majority of Americans have received the COVID-19 vaccine, misinformation is likely playing a role in decisions made by the remaining unvaccinated people.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 70 percent are fully vaccinated.

More than half, 107 million, of the 194 million fully vaccinated Americans have received two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

While the number of fully vaccinated Americans continues to slowly increase, the number of U.S. residents who do not plan to get the jab is rising as well.

According to the Kaiser…


A Snapshot of Crypto Adoption in Venezuela

Not long ago, crypto still felt like that murky subject your business evangelist friend wouldn’t shut up about. Today, as a Venezuelan, you are more likely than not to be surrounded by people who invest or transact in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on a daily basis. It’s not surprising, given that, according to Chainalysis, Venezuela is amongst the leading pack in crypto adoption in the world. 

We all know that the economic crisis has made Venezuelans look for alternatives to their national currency and that people often use cash or payment processors such as Zelle and Paypal for their daily purchases in dollars, given they are secure means for sending and receiving money from one person to another. But such services require a U.S. bank account to access most features in their platforms—this has been widely covered in Caracas Chronicles. So some Venezuelans are now in a position where, in order to participate in the economy, they have to depend on borrowed international accounts from friends or family members to protect their money from inflation or receive remittances. 

As more and more Venezuelans look for alternatives for their payment processing needs, cryptocurrency exchanges are starting to become household options.

Crypto exchanges allow you to make transactions between different types of currency, including crypto and regular fiat currency (government-issued) such as dollars, euros or yen. Right now, there are several of those exchanges gaining strength in the Venezuelan market, the main ones being Criptia, Cryptobuyer, and Binance. 

In the case of Binance, one of the leading exchanges in the Venezuelan market, you need to be 18 years old, have a cell phone, and clear a few KYC requirements before you can have full access to an account. Then, users can purchase cryptocurrency with very low commissions using a debit or credit card or linking their bank (which only works with European or American entities), or access…


Elon Musk’s Net Worth Hits $281 Billion — What’s Propelling His Wealth (and Tesla Stock) Rapidly Upward

Rick Kaufman / London Entertainment

Tesla “TechnoKing” and CEO Elon Musk has surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos by a long-shot as the world’s wealthiest billionaire. Musk’s net worth, including his Tesla stock holdings, now stands at $281 billion. Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $193 billion, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

See: Shiba Inu Cryptocurrency at Record High Sunday Night, Tumbles After Musk Tweets He Doesn’t Own Any
Find Out: What To Consider When Choosing a Mortgage Lender

After a strong Q3 earnings call, Tesla stock was already on the upswing. Then, on Monday, rental car company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. placed an order for 100,000 Teslas. This pushed Tesla’s stock up 9.8%, giving the company a market cap exceeding $1 billion. Tesla shares briefly piqued at $1,036 before a slight dip, presumably due to sellers taking profits. This growth added $28.58 billion to Musk’s net worth, according to

While two-thirds of Musk’s net worth is made up of Tesla stock, it’s not the only reason it climbed significantly this week. Musk’s 2018 Tesla stock option package vested in Q3, which contributed another $8 billion to his personal bottom line.

Related: Tesla HQ Moves to Texas — State Incentives That Drove the Relocation and When To Expect Full-Scale Production

Tesla also reported record-breaking revenue of $1.62 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to Meanwhile, Musk’s other primary focus SpaceX recently completed two public hearings with the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the launch of the Starship / Super Heavy Luanch in Boca Chica, Texas. Interested parties are invited to view a Power Point of the hearing and share their comments through [email protected]

Also last week, Musk’s Boring Company just got the green light to expand the “Vegas Loop” tunnel, a transportation system for all-electric, zero-emissions vehicles that, when completed, is…


Venezuela’s New Digital Bolivar Isn’t Digital, and It Won’t Solve the Country’s Economic Crisis — CoinDesk

For smaller merchants, who work in dollars, the only thing that matters is U.S. currency. “For us, the bolivar is practically irrelevant. We pay suppliers in dollars, all prices are dollarized. The only payments in bolivars are basic services, such as water, electricity and telephony,” Ernesto said.


Crypto Adoption Is Surging Globally — but Not in the U.S.

Worldwide uptake of cryptocurrencies last year got more traction than Elon Musk driving a souped-up Tesla at a Dogecoin e-vehicle rally. (That’s a thing, right?) Regardless, crypto is a thing, and it’s growing fast globally — its adoption skyrocketed 881% compared to the prior year.

In its second annual Global Crypto Adoption Index, Chainalysis found that the top five countries for cryptocurrency acceptance were Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya. The U.S. slid from sixth to eighth in the ranking, while China fell from fourth to 13th — in large part due to its ongoing crypto crackdown.

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Emerging economies are seeing a boom

Chainalysis states that the index’s methodology ranked 154 countries based on three weighted, multi-variable metrics. Those statistical models were necessary to level the playing field for emerging countries such as Togo (10th), compared to developed countries such as the U.K. — which didn’t even crack the crypto adoption top 20. The purpose of the ranking was to “highlight the countries with the greatest cryptocurrency adoption by ordinary people, and focus on use cases related to transactions and individual saving, rather than trading and speculation.”

Sixteen of the countries in the top 20 could be classified as emerging economies — worth noting because the reasons and usages driving their higher rankings are quite different from those in established markets such as the U.S.

The researchers found that countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Kenya ranked due to their massive person-to-person (P2P) transaction numbers (after wealth-per-capita and internet-use factors were applied). They also found that many residents in developing economies rely on P2P cryptocurrency exchanges because they lack access to any type of centralized exchange.

The index also states that many developing markets have severe money devaluation, forcing residents to convert their fiat currencies into crypto to preserve value. Additionally,…


Yemen national uses crypto donations to fight starvation amid civil war

A Redditor living in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a claims to be using cryptocurrencies to buy food packages for families unable to access supplies during an ongoing civil war.

According to a Thursday Reddit post from user yemenvoice, the Yemen national has raised roughly $12,000 in crypto donations to be used towards fighting starvation in the Middle Eastern nation. They claim to have provided 15 families with flour, rice, oil and beans and hope to reach 30 more in the near future.

“I have tried very hard to help my people by finding any possible way,” said yemenvoice. “I have tried to set up online donation campaigns, but unfortunately, all online donation platforms do not support Yemen. So, I thought of using cryptocurrencies as an alternative method, and indeed it was much easier and more effective.”

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014, followed by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition of forces responding to a request for assistance from ousted President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The country has been subject to a blockade by air, land and sea since March 2015, leading to millions of Yemenis in need of basic necessities.

According to David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, 16 million people in Yemen “are marching towards starvation” — including 400,000 children under the age of five, according to a separate report — with food supplies already at critical levels. Yemenvoice claims to have been able to “break the siege” and get funds into the country to buy food by using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Nano (NANO).

“[I] received donations, then transferred from my wallet to the wallets of merchants or the exchange company (we have only one company that accepts Bitcoin), then I bought these food packages, as you can see, and distributed them to the elderly, single mothers and orphans, although there is no difference between young or old, everyone is…