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Ripple, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has announced that it will spend most of 2020 trying to build new partnerships with banks in Brazil and South America.
Ripple Wants to Build Itself Up in South America
The main goal is to make remittance payment capabilities stronger within the nation’s borders. Ripple began building up its presence in Brazil in mid-2019 and has already established relationships with several leading financial institutions including Bradesco, Santander and Rendimento.
Luiz Antonio Sacco – managing director of Ripple’s South America branch – explained in a statement:
With successive advances in Brazilian banking regulation to facilitate financial transactions, including international, opportunities here will grow greatly in the coming years.
Brazil has become one of the leading cryptocurrency havens in South America. It was one of the first countries to introduce newfound regulation of assorted virtual currency activities. In addition, payment firms like Cielo have recently sought to provide bitcoin payment options to citizens in Brazil, making it easier for them to get their fingers on cryptocurrencies and avoid the repercussions of the nation’s failing bank establishments.
However, as with any nation where crypto is growing in both stature and reputation, Brazil has also been the center of several crypto-related crimes and scams. Several customers throughout the nation report companies that promise fast and easy returns while ultimately taking all their funds. When they try to get their money back, they find that most of the time, there’s no more money to be had.
One such example of a phony company came in the form of what’s called the HPX platform. An anonymous customer claims that while he was able to make deposits in the system, he was never able to take his money out. Furthermore, the company allegedly utilized social media and WhatsApp to shell out false advertisements as a means of increasing people’s involvement.
Another crime ring was discovered in May of last year. The ring may have involved as many as 50,000 separate investors who were potentially conned out of as much as $200 million. The operation has since been taken down and those involved are in custody.
Good Times and Bad
Ripple recently completed a $200 million funding round that brought its overall valuation to a whopping $10 billion. In addition, the company has upped its investments in MoneyGram as a means of establishing a stronger remittance payment platform and competing with the likes of SWIFT.
While things are strong for Ripple, a dark cloud has formed on the horizon in the shape of a class-action lawsuit brought on by former investors who claim that the company lied about its status as a non-security. Ryan Coffey – the initial instigator of the lawsuit – has described Ripple as a “never-ending initial coin offering (ICO).”