Brazilian City Starts Accepting Bitcoin Payments for Public Transport

Samuel Haig

On July 25 it was reported that users of the public transportation system in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará, will soon be able to purchase transportation tickets using bitcoin.

The news was broken by Brazil-based media outlet ‘Jornal do Povo’, who cited the Ceará Co-operative of Autonomous Passenger Transporters (COOTRAPS).

Fortaleza Public Transportation System Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Support for BTC payments will be implemented into the city’s autonomous ticketing app before the end of 2019, allowing travelers to pay with BTC by scanning a QR code, which is then scanned by devices located on vehicles. In addition to BTC, transportation tickets can be purchased using debit cards, credit cards, or frequent flyer programs.

COOTRAPS also indicated that the city is deliberating whether to accept payments in the form of other cryptocurrencies in the future, however, it did not specify which alternative cryptocurrencies are under consideration

The initiative is intended to attract more users and to reduce costs, with COOTRAPS chief financial officer, Carlos.Robério stating:

This is a way of reducing bureaucracy, even bringing more users to transport. We expect a larger flow of people, we will make it easier for the user.

Brazilian Interest in Bitcoin Gains Momentum

Bitcoin has increasingly pervaded news headlines in Brazil during recent days, with Paulo Skaf, the president of Brazilian trade association the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP), predicting that the country’s new tax regime will drive citizens toward using virtual currencies to evade taxation.

Speaking to local newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Skaf stated that the new tax regime will “naturally lead to a migration to other forms of payment, such as cryptocurrencies. It's going to be unfair: those who trade in cryptocurrency don't pay, and those who trade in reals will pay.”

On July 19, Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a descendant of Brazil’s former royal family and a federal deputy in the Brazilian National Congress, spoke out against cryptocurrency regulations during a congressional commission.

"Good regulation is one that comes from the consumer's demand for something for which he felt injured and calls for state protection,” he stated, adding: “I question this adventure of wanting to regulate something which consumers and companies organized to receive Bitcoin do not demand.”

Bitcoin Is ‘Worthless’ Says John McAfee After Predicting It Would Hit $1 Million

Francisco Memoria

Eccentric cybersecurity entrepreneur John McAfee has bashed bitcoin claiming the flagship cryptocurrency is “worthless,” even though he had predicted it would reach $1 million by the end of this year, before calling off his prediction.

On social media, McAfee responded to a user who said he believes the cybersecurity expert was only followed because of his bitcoin price prediction, to which McAfee responded bitcoin is “worthless.”

In response various users criticized McAfee for past predictions he got wrong – including for various altcoins – while others tried to defend BTC has value. McAfee is well-known in the cryptocurrency space for a famous $1 million bitcoin price prediction.

On social media, the eccentric entrepreneur initially claimed, in July 2017,  the price of one bitcoin would be above $500,000 by the end of 2020. In November ,when the price of bitcoin was moving toward its $20,00 all-time high by December 2017, McAfee said he predicted the $500,000 mark based on “a model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017.”

As such, he revised his prediction to say BTC would hit $1 million by the end of 2020. I January of this year, after the cryptocurrency endured an year-long bear market and subsequently failed to recover to its previous all-time high, McAfee claimed the prediction was a “ruse to onboard new users” and dropped the prediction.

In a tweet revealing the “ruse” McAfee claimed bitcoin is “ancient technology” as newer blockchains have “privacy, smart contracts, distributed apps and more.” McAfee would later on criticized the flagship cryptocurrency, calling it “old” and “clunky.” Per his words, bitcoin is the “Hotmail of crypto.”

Notably billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital, has recently argued that the price of bitcoin may increase significantly over the next decade to reach $1 billion per coin.

Featured image via Unsplash.