Over the past month, more and more Venezuelans are turning to bitcoin as a store of value.
Activity on peer-to-peer bitcoin service LocalBitcoins shows just how much the trend is growing. Very likely caused by the rampant inflation in the South American country, the surge in bitcoin interest comes as Venezuelans search for a currency that won’t depreciate as much as the Bolivar.
LocalBitcoins is what’s called an “over-the-counter” cryptocurrency exchange. Users post what amount of Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) they’d like to buy, for how much, and their location. Once the buyer finds a seller that matches their order, the two parties meet in person and make the exchange of cash for bitcoin.
The chart below shows that LocalBitcoins volume in Venezuela is exploding:
Source: LocalBitcoins, Coin.Dance
However, this chart above is measured in Bitcoins. It could be that Venezuelans are buying the same number of coins, but since the price of BTC has gone down, they’re buying more coins. The following chart shows the LocalBitcoins volume in USD across Latin American countries:
Source: LocalBitcoins, CryptoGlobe
As the chart shows, Latin Americans in general have been increasing their LocalBitcoins use, but Venezuela's volume is growing enormously, Argentina, Venezula, Peru, Columbia, Chile and Mexico make up almost 20% of global LocalBitcoin volume, this is at an all time high. In contrast these six Latin American nations comprise only 0.126% of global bitcoin spot volume according to data from CryptoCompare.Crypto Continent
South and Central America have always been a hotbed for Bitcoin adoption. As many countries in this area suffer rampant inflation, their citizens use Bitcoin as a store of value. Venezuela is the worst culprit of this, with estimates placing President Maduro’s inflation rate over 800,000% for 2018. This is orders of magnitude greater than the United States,...