Argentina and Paraguay Settle Export Deal in Bitcoin in Landmark Event

Francisco Memoria

Paraguay has reportedly recently paid for an Argentinian shipment worth little over $7,000 in bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, in an apparent first for both countries. The deal was made as part of new program incentivizing small shipments.

According to Cointelegraph en Español, Argentina sold Paraguay pesticides and fumigation products, and paid for the products in BTC, which was then converted to Argentina’s fiat currency, the peso, to pay the agricultural chemicals’ exporter.

The transaction was completed with the help of Bitex, a Latin American financial services firm that supports bitcoin payments. Per the news outlet Bitex’s chief marketing officer, Manuel Beaudroit, revealed the company is part of Argentina’s “Exporta simple” program.

The program reportedly aims to facilitate the exportation of goods and services worth less than $15,000, and Bitex’s role in it is to try to make cross-border payments more efficient.

The deal is significant as the flagship cryptocurrency was used as an alternative to the legacy SWIFT payment network. Notably, the cryptocurrency scene has been growing Argentina, as the country ended 2018 with new cryptocurrency ATMs.

As CryptoGlobe covered, rising inflation that saw the Argentine peso fall 35% against the USD has seen bitcoin trading volume on the peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins increase dramatically.

More recently Argentina’s transport system SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico) has recently started accepting bitcoin payments. The transport system is said to be used by over seven million people in 37 different locations.

$3.1 million: Crypto Exchange Cashaa Hacked for 336 BTC

London-based cryptocurrency exchange Cashaa revealed it lost 336 bitcoin, at press time worth $3.1 million, to hackers who managed to access one of its cryptocurrency wallets.

According to a tweet the exchange published on July 11, the attackers managed to access one of its Blockchain.com wallets, and quickly transferred the funds to an address they control. From the address they went to the BTC has been through a series of hops, suggesting the use of coin mixing software to limit traceability and throw off blockchain sleuths.

Cashaa believes that the attacker may have managed to infect one of its computers with malware, and then waited for an employee to access its machine. As soon as that happened, the funds were moved out of its wallet. Reacting to the security breach, the exchange halted withdrawals and deposits and “called the board meeting to decide whether the company will bear all the losses.”

The exchange suspects the hacker is from east Delhi, India, and filed a report with the Delhi police cybercrimes department.

Cashaa also reached out to other cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses informing them of the address, in a bid to stop the hacker from cashing out. In statements provided to industry media Kumar Gaurav, Cashaa’s CEO, seemingly lashed out at trading platforms that allow hackers to cash out.

Gaurav was quoted as saying:

As of today, hackers are very confident to hack crypto addresses and move it through exchanges that are facilitating such laundering through their systems. Exchanges like these must be shut down and owners of these exchanges should be charged with money laundering facilitation crime.

CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark report, as recently reported, revealed that 38% of crypto exchanges interact with high-risk entities in 25% or more of their transactions. High-risk entities are those associated with darknet markets and vendors, criminals, gambling projects, malware operators, and others.

Featured image by Kevin Ku on Unsplash