Venezuela witnesses an increase in peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin (BTC) trading after banks have been shut down in the country amid the coronavirus quarantine.
President Nicolas Maduro instilled on March 17 a nationwide quarantine meant to decrease the spread of the coronavirus. Until now, only 33 cases of the disease have been confirmed locally, so by implementing emergency measures, the administration hopes that its health system won’t become overwhelmed by the infection.
The Banking Sector in the Country Shut Indefinitely
As part of the emergency quarantine, the banking sector in Venezuela is shut down indefinitely, which has caused the P2P crypto trading to increase. The BTC and bolivar trade activity at Localbitcoins rebounded back at over $3.4 million in the last 2 weeks, after a period of 3 weeks in which the weekly volume has slipped.
— SudebanInforma (@SudebanInforma) March 15, 2020
The entire South America is going through an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies ever since the coronavirus appeared. Localbitcoins’ volume went up more than 30% in the country of Peru, and almost 15% in Colombia, only last week. Both these countries recently closed their borders.
Petro Adoption Is Currently Dampened
Venezuela’s efforts to implement the adoption of the Petro, its cryptocurrency backed by oil, have been dampened by the COVID-19 threat. President Maduro’s latest important initiatives on Petro happened in January, when the launch of a casino powered by the cryptocurrency has been announced. The profits from the casino are supposed to become funding for the education and health sectors in the country. More than this, the casino was opened just a week after the Venezuelan President decreed that Petro is to be used for all sales of airline fuel for international flights.
Still, people in Venezuela aren’t yet warm to the new cryptocurrency. In the Localbitcoins listings, it appears the tokens have been offloaded at half of their $60 fixed value.