Honduras Establishes Bitcoin Valley in Santa Lucia to Boost Crypto Opportunities

Honduras has entered the cryptocurrency trend after launching “Bitcoin Valley” in Santa Lucia meant to spur more opportunities in the digital asset space, according to Reuters. 

As a result, the tourist town of Santa Lucia has shifted to a Bitcoin city because business owners are adopting crypto payments to boost tourism.


Cesar Andino, the manager of Los Robles shopping square, pointed out:

“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency.”

Santa Lucia is strategically located because it is just 20 minutes from the nation’s capital Tegucugalpa.


The “Bitcoin Valley” project was jointly developed by Santa Lucia’s municipality, the Technological University of Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, and the Blockchain Honduras organization. 


Therefore, the initiative will initially target 60 businesses to be trained about cryptocurrencies and how to use them as marketing tools for their services and products. The project is expected to be rolled out to more enterprises in Santa Lucia and nearby areas. 


Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, a professor at the Technological University, welcomed the “Bitcoin Valley” concept and said:

“Santa Lucia’s community will be educated to use and manage cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism.”

Since El Salvador accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in September last year, crypto interest in Latin America has soared.


For instance, a recent study by Mastercard disclosed that more than 50% of consumers in Latin America were participating in crypto transactions. The payments giant pointed out:

“51% of consumers in the region have already made a transaction with crypto assets, and more than a third say they have made a payment for an everyday purchase with stablecoin.”

Therefore, Latin Americans see cutting-edge technologies like crypto as an ideal payment option.

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76% of Financial Institutions Eyeing Crypto Adoption in Next 3 Years, Ripple Report Shows

More financial institutions intend to join the crypto bandwagon for various reasons like bridging the payment gap, according to a report by crypto solutions provider Ripple. 

The Ripple report, “New Value: Crypto Trends in Business & Beyond,” highlights how the crypto space is revamping the finance landscape. The research highlighted:

“76% expect to use crypto in the next three years, assuming regulation allows for it. In a deviation from the pattern of the enterprises being more favorable to digital assets of all types and more optimistic about their benefits, slightly fewer enterprises, at 71%, say they will use crypto in the next three years.”

Financial institutions not only see crypto as a speculative asset but also as an ideal payment channel, collateral, and inflationary hedge.

The Ripple report also pointed out that institutional crypto adoption might be at a tipping point and stated:

“A tipping point scenario where institutional adoption begets broader institutional adoption, the speed of which can be fueled by a variety of factors including use for hedging and payments.”

When choosing cryptocurrencies, financial institutions and enterprises did not highly consider sustainability. 

Nevertheless, consumers were keener when choosing sustainable crypto. Per the report:

“Over 75% of consumers say they would prefer to buy a cryptocurrency that is sustainable. And more than 20% of global consumers say they would only buy sustainable cryptocurrencies.”

The consensus was that financial institutions and enterprises saw crypto as a stepping stone toward more equity and inclusion in their organizations.

Meanwhile, the appetite for cryptocurrencies in e-commerce has been gaining steam because they render more convenient and safer payments, according to a report by global payments solution provider Checkout.com.

Deloitte shared similar sentiments by highlighting that 87% of merchants eyed crypto payments based on the competitive advantage presented, Blockchain.News reported. 

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51% of Crypto Investors in Saudi Arabia Optimise Crypto Future, KuCoin Study Shows

Nearly 3 million citizens in Saudi Arabia have entered the crypto space over the past six months, according to a study by KuCoin.

To explore the adoption and penetration of cryptocurrencies in Saudi Arabia, crypto exchange KuCoin released an “Into The Cryptoverse Report”. The study unravelled sustainable interest among crypto investors in Saudi Arabia. Per the report:

“51% of crypto investors invest because they believe it is the future of finance, while 44% believe that cryptocurrencies can bring them higher returns in the long run compared to other types of financial investment.”

Over the last six months, 14% of the adult population entered the crypto space by either trading digital assets or owning them. Furthermore, 17% of adults depicted crypto curiosity and were likely to invest in cryptocurrencies in the next six months. 

New market entrants were going through the roof, with the report stating:

“The high proportion of new market entrants is unique to Saudi Arabia, as 76% of crypto investors have less than one year of experience in crypto investment, including 49% of those who first started trading cryptocurrencies in the past six months, suggesting strong demand for crypto education in the market.”

Despite the onset of the bearish market in the second quarter of this year, some crypto owners in the nation still showed confidence in their investments. The study also highlighted:

“In the second quarter of 2022, 31% of crypto owners in Saudi Arabia said that they would keep their crypto balance as is rather than increase their investment.”

However, the ratio of gender inequality is a bit high when it comes to crypto investment because 63% are men and 37% are women. Nevertheless, women investors depict a more practical mindset by looking at realistic benefits. The survey stated:

“48% of female crypto investors are motivated by its profitability in the long run, and 42% of females invest in crypto to gain passive income.”

With 42% of Saudi crypto investors seeing the profits accrued as a stepping stone toward improving their families’ living conditions, the KuCoin study found out that these unique aspects were opening up new horizons and possibilities for the cryptocurrency market in the nation. 

Meanwhile, Argentinians have been seeking shelter in stablecoins following the resignation of the economy minister, Blockchain.News reported.

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Blockchain Analytics to Help Curb Crypto Misuse, Says HashCash CEO

Since the crypto industry is growing at a frantic pace, blockchain analytics can help fill the void of curbing money laundering and cybercriminal activities, according to Raj Chowdhury, the CEO of HashCash Consultants.

“There has been a conscious effort in implementing stricter crypto regulations worldwide. Blockchain analytics will play a crucial role in decision-making processes for organizations dealing with crypto and blockchain technology,”  said Chowdhury. Blockchain analytics is believed to be constructive in establishing order and propelling sustainable growth in the crypto sector. 

Blockchain analytics render actionable insights that help enterprises comply with regulatory protocols regarding cryptocurrencies. Chowdhury said:

“The playing field required for innovation must not compromise the achievements we have made so far. Like any technology, blockchain is not immune to misuse. Hence the regulation is a necessity not only for AML compliance but also for developing blockchain research and the global crypto-community.”

As the cryptocurrency space continues grappling with the challenge of various lending and DeFi projects facing bankruptcy, Chowdhury has advocated the importance of crypto education when averting high-APY DeFi scams.

Rand Low, a quantitative risk modeller and senior fellow at the University of Queensland Business School, recently highlighted the importance of regulation and capital controls in fast-growing crypto lending platforms.

Low acknowledged that this would prevent depression and crashes in the market because the uncertainty rocking crypto lending entities like BlockFi, CoinLoan, and Celsius Network was causing panic selling. 

A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report disclosed that Celsius took more risk than it could handle because it had a total asset base of $19 billion. In contrast, its equity contribution was pegged at just $1 billion. Therefore, blockchain analytics can help prevent such trends by rendering more transparency and insights. 

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Crypto is No Longer Men Club as More Female Entering the Space, Study Shows

Women are no longer excluded from the crypto bandwagon because they are rapidly participating and investing in this sector, according to a co-study by mobile crypto wallet Valora and global market researcher Appinio.

“It’s encouraging to see women from around the world joining the crypto community and unlocking new financial opportunities,” Jackie Bona, Valora’s CEO, pointed out.

Bona added that the notion of crypto being a boys’ club was fading away as more women were setting foot in the sector. She noted:

“Crypto has this reputation for being a bit of a boys’ club, but more and more women are now empowered to meaningfully participate in this new financial system.”

Women are taking up the crypto mantle as most of them made their first investment in this sector less than a year ago. Per the study:

“Nearly two-thirds (60.6%) of women who own crypto made their first crypto investment less than one year ago.”

Furthermore, twice as many women made their crypto investment within the last six months at 28.1% compared to more than two years ago at 13.9%. 

Therefore, this phenomenon represents a trending shift. Per the research:

“Until recently, the space was predominantly made up of men. Over half (51.8%) of men made their first cryptocurrency investment more than a year ago.”

More women are entering the crypto sector based on changing needs, tastes, and preferences. Morgan Beller, a general partner at Valora, said:

“I think the growth can be attributed to need, want, increased understanding/education, and superior product experiences.”

The study was conducted between March 23 and April 10, 2022, and surveyed 1,500 NFT and crypto investors or owners aged 18 to 65 across Spain, France, Germany, the USA, and the UK.

A past survey by crypto exchange KuCoin noted that women’s desire to know about cryptocurrencies was considerably higher than that of men in Turkey, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Abu Dhabi Women Set to Receive Free Crypto Domains to Expand Their Web3 Knowledge

To give women residing in Abu Dhabi the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and ultimately explore the Web3 world, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Access Abu Dhabi have teamed up with NFT domain name provider Unstoppable Domains. 

Women of Web3, a powerhouse group of disruptive female US tech entrepreneurs, made the revelation during a visit to Abu Dhabi.


Therefore, women residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital will have the chance to explore the Web3 space through free crypto domains. Moreover, the initiative aims to bridge the gender gap because approximately 5% to 7% of all crypto users are women. 


Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, the acting director general of ADIO, welcomed the move and said:

“Abu Dhabi is ensuring the future of Web3 is built around a powerful infrastructure that appeals to all members of the community. By supporting initiatives that invite and uplift women, we can champion diversity early in the Web3 era.”

By enhancing women’s knowledge base, Al Shamsi believes “the partnership with Unstoppable Domains to provide free crypto domains to all women in Abu Dhabi embodies the emirate’s promise of inclusion, while creating opportunities for private sector participation in a fast-growing space.”


As the UAE gears to become a blockchain/crypto hub, Abu Dhabi intends to have a piece of the cake by propelling Web3 opportunities. 


Sandy Carter, the SVP of Unstoppable Domains and Founder of Unstoppable Women of Web3, noted:

“It’s great to see Abu Dhabi leading the mission to bring Web3 opportunities to women in the Middle East. It has been an honour to be a part of the ‘Women of Web3’ delegation.”

She added:

“Providing free crypto, NFT and blockchain domains to all women in Abu Dhabi is a power move that ensures women will be included in increasing numbers within the fabric of the Web3 movement for generations to come.”

Raj Chowdhury, the CEO of blockchain development company HashCash Consultants, had previously acknowledged that a paradigm shift was being witnessed in the Middle East, especially the UAE, as the region’s interests were changing from oil to crypto and metaverse, among other blockchain innovations. Drafting women along this path of innovation is a step in the right direction

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Nigeria Releases New Rules Classifying Crypto as Securities

In a move that might boost crypto trading in Nigeria, the nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rolled out “rules on issuance, offering platforms, and custody of digital assets” for virtual firms, according to Bloomberg. 

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The rules offer more clarity on digital assets’ trading in a nation that already sits among the largest crypto markets globally. 


As a change of tone, the nation’s central bank had prevented commercial lenders from undertaking crypto transactions or operations last year. 


Owen Odia, Luno’s Nigeria country manager, noted:

“The regulations could act as the precursor for a surprise move from the central bank to reverse its approach, providing critical foundations for mass crypto adoption across the country.”

According to Paxful, a Bitcoin peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, Nigeria has the largest crypto transaction volume outside the United States. 


Moreover, a recent study by crypto exchange KuCoin revealed that Nigerians were entering the crypto space because of the lack of affordable financial services and high inflation rates, given that 35% of them were engaged in this sector in the last six months. 


The research suggested that cryptocurrencies were filling the gap in the traditional financial market because Nigerians were using them as an alternative for storing and transferring assets.


The KuCoin study also noted that P2P was a favored strategy among Nigerians, given that 65% of crypto investors in the nation made fiat deposits to cryptocurrencies through P2P platforms. Therefore, the latest development might accelerate crypto adoption on Nigerian soil. 

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Bitcoin Lightning Network Would be Practical for Small Payments than Debit Cards, Morgan Stanley Says

The Bitcoin Lightning Network attracts fees close to zero. It becomes more practical to use it when undertaking small payments than a debit card, according to leading investment bank Morgan Stanley.

As a layer two scaling solution on the BTC network, the Lightning Network (LN) boosts the blockchain’s capacity to undertake transactions more efficiently through micropayment channels. 

Therefore, transactions on lightning networks are more readily confirmed, cheaper, and faster than that processed on-chain or Bitcoin mainnet (layer one).

With more than 85% of sales in the United States happening in shops compared to online, Morgan Stanley believes partnering with physical stores would play an instrumental role in boosting Bitcoin as a medium of payment.

As a result, the Lightning Network is expected to bridge the gap based on its low transaction fees. An analysis of the  Bitcoin Lightning Network recently noted:

“Roughly a year ago the Lightning Network took off on Bitcoin. The on-chain transaction fees instantly started to go down and remained low ever since. Growing number of transactions sent at lightning speed with rock-bottom fees both on-chain and off-chain.”


Source: Blockchain.com 

According to Arcane Research, the Lightning Network continues to gain steam because it recorded a 410% year-over-year growth.

Arcane Research also noted that the Lightning Network could radically change the business model of content providers in gaming, video, audio, and many more categories by providing a structure where continuous micropayments were made.

Meanwhile, merchants on Shopify, a global e-commerce giant, were recently given the option to receive off-chain payments through the Bitcoin Lightning Network after sealing a deal with Strike, a digital payments platform.

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3.6 million Americans Likely to Pay by Crypto This Year, Survey Shows

The year 2022 holds a lot of promises for the broader digital currency industry as a forecast from Insider Intelligence shows adoption of crypto payment will continue to rise.

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The data analytics platform predicts that the number of American adults who will own cryptocurrencies and utilise these nascent asset classes for payments will surge by double digits this year through 2023.

According to the forecast by the platform, payments made through cryptocurrencies will surpass $10 billion globally, a figure if achieved will imply a more than 70% growth from the 2021 record.

“It is easier now to invest in cryptocurrency than ever before,” says Nazmul Islam, forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “In 2021, cryptos became easier to purchase within apps consumers were already using, while major financial institutions embraced crypto investments. Add hype surrounding meme stocks like Dogecoin to this easier accessibility, and you have a huge spike in ownership rates.”

When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin in 2009, its utility was limited to payments, which swiftly grew to become an investment asset in the past couple of years. As the industry keeps up its maturity and institutional investors wade in, a wider range of utility is now being attached to cryptocurrencies as a whole.

In the forecast of the adoption of the digital assets this year, Insider Intelligence predicts that more adults in the 25 to 34 age range will dominate the pack, followed by those ages 35 to 44. The smallest but fastest-growing group will be adults ages 65 and over.

“Younger investors have a genuinely positive outlook on blockchain technology and are buying crypto to hold for a while, expecting prices to continue increasing in the long run,” said Islam.  “Older investors will be more risk-averse and leery of the volatile crypto market. Although, they are increasingly starting to invest in crypto as more retirement funds offer it as an option.”

Digital currencies, as well as the innovations it heralds, have come to stay, and a number of financial institutions are doing all they can to be positioned enough to catch a fair share of the emerging market that will be built around these transitioning nascent asset class.

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20 % of American Adults Involves in the Crypto Space, Study Shows

One of five Americans has used, traded, or invested in cryptocurrency, according to a poll by NBC News.


These statistics show that cryptocurrencies continue to gain steam despite lawmakers warning about the risks involved as they craft measures to regulate the sector. 

Out of the 1,000 Americans polled from March 18 to March 22, 20% of them have dabbled in crypto, showing how the industry has soared in recent years despite being relatively young.

Half of the men surveyed between 18 and 49 years acknowledged that they had entered the crypto space, representing the largest share of all demographic groups. 

In addition, per the report:

“40% of Black Americans said they have traded or used crypto, while 42% of all people between the ages of 18 and 34 years said the same.”

Crypto advocates have opined that digital assets like Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), and stablecoins render security, privacy, lower costs, better transaction speeds, and give the underbanked financial services.

These are some of the factors that have triggered interest in cryptocurrencies on American soil. 

The crypto market in the United States has grown to the extent that President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month, directing relevant authorities to scrutinize the benefits and risks. 

This move marked the first step toward regulating how crypto assets are traded. 

Crypto adoption continues to gain steam across the globe.  According to a recent study by Arcane Research and Ernst & Young (EY), 10% of Norwegian adults own crypto, double the rate recorded in 2018.

Furthermore, a survey by crypto exchange KuCoin revealed that 44% of Germans see crypto as part of the future of finance, Blockchain.News reported.  

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