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Congressman of Venezuela: “Police kidnaps Bitcoin miners” (Consensus 2019)

Venezuela has been in the spotlight a lot recently. It’s not often that both the mainstream media and the crypto media pay an equal amount of attention to a topic. The country is undergoing a major political crisis with two men claiming to be its legitimate presidents… Meanwhile, Venezuela’s inhabitants have had to deal with a 10-million percent annual inflation, many turning to cryptocurrency as the solution.

Venezuela – Kidnappings, corruption, blockchain identity

I had a chance to catch up with Armando Armas, a member of Venezuelan National Assembly and a strong supporter of Juan Guaidó. He believes that blockchain identity and the blockchain-based voting system could solve some of the problems inherent to the Venezuelan political system. When I asked Mr. Armas about the petro, he immediately replied that “it’s not a cryptocurrency, it’s a scam, it’s something that Maduro was trying to create to avoid sanctions”.

The current government is supportive of Bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency in general, but for its own reasons – it’s not uncommon for the miners or their families to be kidnapped by the police, to be released only in exchange for all their bitcoins. In addition, the businesses which accept cryptocurrency often become the targets of the police or military racketeering.

What do you think about Juan Guaidó?

He is great. He is young, he is brave, democratic, technology driven. He has a development plan for the country.

If your government comes to power, what kind of attitude you are going to have towards cryptocurrency?

I think blockchain has many good use cases, about cryptocurrency, I don’t know yet.

Hypothetically, if Maduro says “I am ready to leave, but in return, I want immunity for myself and my family”, do you think this could work?

Probably, but this would be up to President Guaidó. Also, even we give him immunity, it may not be enough as he has broken international law as well.

MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative)

Sebastien J.B. Henot, Manager of Business Innovation Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and who is Chairman of the Vehicle Identity workgroup at MOBI told us about the promise that blockchain technology holds for the auto industry as well as the challenges of building an industry-wide consortium.

One of the most basic and immediate goals of MOBI to come up with the framework for a car passport. “All major car makers have had blockchain pilots, but the goal now is to come with the industry-wide standards. So, for example, if a client brings a Honda to the Renault dealership as a trade-in, the dealer would be able to view all the major events in the car’s history”. If MOBI is able to come up with the standards for the on-chain car identity for the industry, it would help solve some of the thorniest issues in the industry such as lack of trust and overall bad image that car dealerships, in particular, have in the eyes of most consumers.

Some of the biggest players in the industry have already joined this initiative: Renault, Honda, GM, Ford… It’s great for the project, but doesn’t come without its own challenges. “All these companies are rivals, so it’s not easy to make them work together. But I believe in the end everyone will win”, notices Mr. Henot. This standard should be released in the coming weeks.

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