Bitcoin (BTC) Trading Volume in Venezuela Continues to Rise
Hyperinflation in Venezuela is driving Venezuelans to Bitcoin suggests geographical trading data by Coin.Dance.
Venezuela is in the middle of a crippling financial crisis and data suggests that many of its citizens are turning to Bitcoin.
According to data from Coin.Dance, weekly Bitcoin (BTC) trading in Venezuelan Bolivar has reached all-time highs.
Due to the high rate of inflation in the country, strong demand and the recent rise in Bitcoin (BTC) prices, it makes sense that more Bolivar is exchanging hands.
Therefore, looking at the number of Bitcoins exchanging hands is more intuitive as it reveals whether there is real growth in demand. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoins exchanged has been soaring since February, when the Bolivar lost virtually all of its value versus the USD.
While the local currency has hit rock bottom in terms of value, many of the country’s foreign legion has found using bitcoin the best option to face the biting chaos. And that has translated to high volumes.
The record numbers come at the same time as the launch of an app that helps citizens to calculate the value of the new denomination against the devalued currency.
La Calculadora Soberana una herramienta para todas y todos los venezolanos, es el mejor aliado que tendrá el pueblo para entender y asimilar el proceso de reconversión monetaria.#CalculadoraSoberana #BolívarSoberano
— Banco Central de Venezuela (@BCV_ORG_VE) August 23, 2018
The Android app called Sovereign Calculator has over 5,000 downloads and is fairly highly received, with a 4.7 out of 5.0 rating on Google Play.
Venezuela’s central bank has urged the public to download the app, noting that it is what they need to understand the re-denomination process.
Criticism of oil-backed Petro coin
Hyperinflation in Venezuela has rendered the country’s currency near worthless and citizens continue to leave the country in droves.
According to various analysts, Venezuela’s hyperinflation has already hit the roof, with estimates putting it at 100,000% at the moment.
Recently, Venezuela president Nicholas Maduro devalued the Bolivar by 95 percent and announced a new currency called the Sovereign Bolivar. At the same time, he suggested that the South American nation’s oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro was now in use.
However, an investigation by Reuters has found that Petro hasn’t been put to use yet and that its development is still ongoing. Even NEM, the blockchain upon which the crypto launched shows that no one has used it so far.
In addition, many observers have criticized Maduro’s government for both the Petro coin and the Sovereign Bolivar, labeling them as scams.
The government has responded by being tough on those it believes are out to sabotage the new measures meant to help the economy.
A government crackdown on remittances
The Venezuelan government has released new banking rule that targets remittance services in a move that could potentially affect bitcoin users.
The government has written to all the banks in the country, asking them to disclose information that would make it difficult for citizens in foreign countries to use their local bank accounts to send money.
The Venezuelan government will now force all banking institutions to disclose IP addresses from people who access their banking info from outside the country. Citizens will now have to notify banks before traveling overseas. Users who don’t notify it won’t be able to transact. pic.twitter.com/FAAZ4z80ga
— Eduardo⚡Gómez (@Codiox) August 28, 2018
Banks will now have to disclose a user’s IP address and other financial details including all transaction amounts involved.
The strict regulations could force bitcoin users not to use their bank accounts and sites like LocalBitcoins may see reduced volumes.
If people use LocalBitcoins to skirt the IP address requirement, then authorities may go after the site and use DNS or IP blocking to restrict the site’s use in the country.
Venezuelans will continue to use LocalBitcoins for now, and volumes of BTC/VES trading will likely hit even higher records.