LocalBitcoins Sees Record Trading Volume in Latin America & Canada – What’s Going On?
It seems that Bitcoin is expanding everywhere around the world, but the Pan-American market is growing at very interesting rates. Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Canada and Argentina are registering important records in the number of Bitcoin transacted.
There are different reasons why is that happening. First of all, and the most shocking case is Venezuela where they are moving over 500 BTC per week, according to LocalBitcoins’ data. The country has an inflation of 14,000% and a poverty rate that reaches 90% of the population.
Populist measures implemented by the latest governments destroyed Venezuela. Bitcoin and virtual currencies are a tool that the population has to avoid the different problems that they are now facing. It is impossible to make simple transactions like buying at the supermarket or purchasing goods and services, and saving in Bolivares (Venezuelan currency) is not an option.
Venezuela historically had a high volume of Bitcoin transaction, since 2015. In April 2017 it reached its peak when more than 800 BTC were transacted in just a week. Then, the number has been reduced to over 180 weekly BTC at the end of 2017. Since then, the number of BTC moved by the population keeps growing, reaching highs of 670 BTC.
Peru, for example, has experienced an exponential increase in the last months. It reached 106 BTC transacted during a week on May, which contrasts to the 17 BTC moved during the first week of the current year.
Canada has also registered an important surge in the number of Bitcoins transacted passing from 54 in March, to more than 1200 BTC in May, and around 800 BTC the weeks before. This is surprising, and it is managing a number bigger than in the United States if that keeps in this way.
It is also important to mention that Canada and Peru do not have the problems that Venezuela needs to face and Bitcoin is not as necessary as there to escape from an oppressive government and no currency.
Chile and Argentina had important increases in the number of Bitcoin transacted in local currency. Argentina has also a problem with inflation with some projections that put it in 25% this year. Companies are also starting to use Bitcoins in this South American country. The Masventas bank, the first banking institutions in the world sending cross-border payments with BTC.
This shows how some regions are deciding to embrace Bitcoin instead of local currencies for different reasons. In Venezuela that may be related to survive, and in Argentina and Canada to invest and use it.