How Covid-19 helped decrease the unbanked population in Brazil

The Brazilian government announced a financial support scheme aimed at self-employed and informal workers that had their incomes affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Brazil has a large population of informal workers: those who work cash-in-hand jobs, with no formal work contract. They are mostly unskilled or semi-skilled workers eg. street vendors, service providers like cleaning and home repairs. The financial support will come from state owned bank Caixa Economica Federal. Individuals under the scheme criteria have to open an account with Caixa to receive its benefits. The process is…

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Bitcoin trading in emerging markets: going “crypto native”

handshake between 2 people in Lagos Nigeria

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that emerging markets are more “bitcoin or crypto native“. And according to LocalBitcoins, 2018 was a great year for bitcoin trading especially in emerging economies – 4 out of the top 10 countries by bitcoin trading volume, were emerging markets. Here is a quick round-up of why Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are going big: 4th Place Venezuela: Bitcoin and Dash go head-to-head Venezuela is not an emerging market but I wanted to highlight why this South American country embraced cryptocurrencies so well.…

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Latin America: 3 platforms changing the crowdfunding game

Everybody knows what “fazer uma vaquinha” or “hacer una vaca” in Latin America is – literally translated as “to do/make a cow” (don’t ask me why!) – it’s nothing more than what we know here as collecting money from different people to buy or do something. The primary form of crowdfunding. Here are 3 Latin American platforms running in the upfront of the crowdfunding game. Kickante – Brazil When in time of crisis, some businesses, like crowdfunding, grow and thrive. As you all must have hard, things are not looking…

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Brazil struggles to find a route to competitiveness

Why is everything so expensive in Brazil? I’m Brazilian and lived there most of my life and never understood it – until I came across this article by the Economist. Some of the main reasons are high taxation combined with a lack of competitiveness – the Brazilian Real ranks in 3rd place of most depreciated against the dollar in 2018, just behind the Venezuelan Bolivar. Not good news, not good news for Brazilians at all. According to a study by the Federation of Industries of São Paulo (Fiesp), a product manufactured in…

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Venezuela is fast becoming a ‘mafia state’: here’s what you need to know

Last week, Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for his second six-year term as Venezuela’s president. Maduro won the election off the back of international condemnation of vote buying and electoral fraud. While the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called Venezuela’s government “illegitimate”, Maduro declared: Venezuela is at the centre of a world war led by the United States imperialism and its satellite countries. Such statements have become par for the course by a leader and government determined to frame Venezuela’s political, social and economic woes as a product of…

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WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy

Misinformation via social media played a troubling role in boosting far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro to into the Brazilian presidency. Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian…

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Blockchain-based land registries may help lift the poor out of poverty

Many developing countries don’t have a working system of tracking property rights, and what they do have can be fragile and incomplete. In Haiti, for instance, a large earthquake in 2010 destroyed all the municipal buildings that stored documents confirming many small farmers’ ownership of the land they worked. Even years later, many farmers didn’t have proof that they were landowners. People are still fighting over their land. This sort of problem – caused by natural disasters or not – is widespread, causing financial hardship for families in the developing…

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