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Stay up to date on the top stories this week in fintech. From a crypto city to BTM machines, we have you covered with this week’s most exciting news.

Over the weekend,

Venezuela’s government announced that around 15% of all fuel payments at Venezuelan gas stations are being made using their digital currency, Petro (PTR). The Petro is pegged to oil and as of November 2019, it was backed by 30 million barrels of crude oil.

On Monday,

Turkish real estate firm Antalya announced that it will now accept bitcoin (BTC) property payments following their highest-valued sale ever, which was transacted through a bitcoin payment. They have also incorporated virtual tours into their website as part of a response to the current pandemic.

WhatsApp launches person-to-person payments in Brazil. Businesses pay 3.99% processing fee while consumers can use the service for free, all using Facebook Pay.

On Tuesday,

Kazakhstan aims to entice $738 million in investments in cryptocurrency industry investment. Their goal is to achieve this within three years, assuming the upper house of the Kazakh Parliament accepts Askar Zhumagliyev’s (Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace) proposal.

A recent survey reveals that most Japanese crypto investors prefer XRP to ether. Interest in XRP and bitcoin is almost the same at 25% and 26%, respectively.

Blockchaincenter.net published a map that shows BTC interest is highest in Africa and South America. Amid COVID-19 instability and a general lack of infrastructure, these continents are poised to become key players in future crypto adoption.

On Wednesday,

Artist and entrepreneur Akon awarded a $6 billion contract to KE International to start building a crypto-powered Akon City in Senegal. Experts predict that most of the infrastructure will be ready by 2023.

China plans to create a regional digital currency to promote trade within East Asia. The regional cryptocurrency would be backed by multiple fiat currencies, including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and South Korean won.

According to CoinATMRadar, there are now 8,270 crypto ATMs in 73 different countries. They allow users to purchase and withdraw different types of cryptocurrencies, depending on the machine.

Deloitte announced that 39% of technology companies globally are pursuing blockchain production. Last year, this figure was 16% lower. 9 in 10 of those believe blockchain technology will become significantly more important within the next 3 years.

On Thursday,

Donald Trump took his dislike of cryptocurrencies to the government. He told treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” amid discussion on Chinese trade negotiations.

Singapore ride-sharing app Ryde now accepts BTC payments. The company will launch its own bitcoin wallets on June 22. Users will be able to convert their BTC to Ryde coins pegged to the Singaporean dollar (sans fees).

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) is creating a blockchain trading system to deal with electricity surplus. They have partnered with Itochu Corporation to build the platform and it will be available to citizens in around three years’ time, according to Nikkei.

On Friday,

China’s Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID) announced that Bitcoin is ranked 12 of 37 on their 18th Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index. This index evaluates cryptocurrencies based on their value, decentralization, usability, and technology.

For more information on these stories, visit:

Petro payments: https://cointelegraph.com/news/venezuelan-petro-payments-may-be-on-the-rise

Antalya homes: https://cointelegraph.com/news/turkish-real-estate-firm-antalya-homes-now-supports-bitcoin-payments

WhatsApp payments: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidphelan/2020/06/18/whatsapp-suddenly-launches-ground-breaking-new-feature/#5d3440982d6b

Kazakh crypto investment: https://astanatimes.com/2020/06/kazakhstan-plans-to-attract-738-million-of-cryptocurrency-investment-in-next-three-years/

Japanese XRP interest: https://cointelegraph.com/news/survey-japanese-crypto-holders-prefer-xrp-over-eth

Africa and South America: https://www.blockchaincenter.net/cryptocurrency-world-map/?crypto=BTC;ETH;XRP;BCH;LTC;ADA;XMR;TRX;MIOTA;DOGE;

Akon city: https://cryptobriefing.com/akons-crypto-city-secures-6-billion-construction-contract/

East Asia currency: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/China-takes-battle-for-cryptocurrency-hegemony-to-new-stage

BTC ATH machines: https://coinatmradar.com/

Deloitte insights: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/6608_2020-global-blockchain-survey/DI_CIR%202020%20global%20blockchain%20survey.pdf

Donald Trump and BTC: https://www.coindesk.com/trump-told-treasury-secretary-to-go-after-bitcoin-bolton-book-reportedly-claims

Ryde BTC payments: https://news.bitcoin.com/singapore-based-carpooling-platform-ryde-plans-to-support-bitcoin-payments/

Tepco and blockchain: https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/japan-turns-to-blockchain-for-trading-extra-power/

CCID index: https://cointelegraph.com/news/chinese-officials-say-bitcoin-doesnt-make-the-top-10-cryptocurrencies

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