Tuesday, March 26, 2019

LocalBitcoins Registers Record Volumes For Argentina And Venezuela

Cryptocurrencies are being used more and more day by day in every country of the world. Although there is still a big barrier for cryptocurrency adoption in some countries, that have even banned cryptocurrencies trading like in China and India, in other countries cryptocurrency trading is booming, more in troubled, hyperinflationary countries where the local currency has failed. Countries like Argentina and Venezuela are the ones that lead the numbers of adoption of cryptocurrencies as a store of value by citizens that trade and store them as a way of preserving their savings in chaos economies, aiding themselves with platforms like LocalBitcoins.

Sadly, we don’t have a centralized, per country of all exchanges. But we can use the data of the most used peer 2 peer exchange in those countries: LocalBitcoins. Locabitcoins is the exchange that is most used in Venezuela and Argentina because it lets users preserve their identity while being able to transact in the platform. And according to their numbers, these two countries are still having great growth in the amount of bitcoin traded in the last week, according to Coin.dance data.

Just the last week, the amount of local currency traded for bitcoin grew 20% in Venezuela and in Argentina the whole month had bigger trading numbers than in last December when bitcoin prices went up to $17,000+ levels. So it is clear that trading has gone up recently.

The cause of it is very clear: These two countries have been hit badly by great devaluation processes that have made local currencies lose most of their value in short periods. In the case of Venezuela, just in the last week, the local currency lost 50% of its value against the dollar, something that affects Venezuelans in a negative way. Argentina has also faced a slow devaluation process that has taken the local currency, the peso, to devalue more than 100% just in the last year.

These critical circumstances have taken citizens to explore bitcoin in Localbitcoins as a store of value, always knowing that volatility is also a daily struggle in cryptocurrency markets. But even taking that into consideration, having local currencies that have lost so much of its value in little time, it is still better to hold cryptocurrencies for them.

This use case is something that academics like Roubini don’t take into account. It is unlikely to predict the movement of cryptocurrencies in every country in the world with 100% accuracy, but till now, every hyperinflationary crisis in any country has been followed with an increase on cryptocurrency trading.

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