Venezuelans are the ones who continue buying the largest amount of Bitcoins in the whole region. They spent an equivalent to US $1 million per day during last week
Last week both Latin America and the whole world were very active within the cryptocurrency market. The rise in the prices of Bitcoin led hundreds of people to turn to make transactions but, in some countries in the Spanish-American region, this adds to another local phenomenon: the inflation that makes local currencies increasingly worthless. The situation is that this week there was a record in the number of transactions in LocalBitcoins calculated vis-à-vis local currencies. The specific cases referred to are shown below:
During May 5th-11th, Argentina had its highest volume of operations in history with Argentine pesos through the peer-to-peer (P2P) platform. For a week, there were transactions for 12.8 million Argentine pesos (equivalent to about US $281,000), the largest amount in that currency ever exchanged. All this represents 30% more pesos than the previous week.
Although the amount of Bitcoins exchanged was not so high (44 Bitcoins), the previous week it had only been 37. However, it is important to note that the value of Bitcoin increased during last week, which is reflected in the amount of dollars paid and, therefore, of the local currency.
The case of Colombia is similar, since there was also an increase, especially in terms of the amount of Bitcoins and the value of each one. Last week there were transactions in this country for more than 10 thousand million Colombian pesos, equivalent to a little more than US $3 million. The previous week, in contrast, transactions reached $8 thousand million Colombian pesos.
During May 5th-11th Colombians bought 560 Bitcoins, that is, 12 times the amount traded by Argentines. What is striking is that in February this year they bought many more Bitcoins per week (over 760); however, they spent much fewer pesos than now. Logically, the price of Bitcoin was much lower than now.
The case of Venezuela is the most peculiar and complex of all, as the rise of Bitcoin adds to the country’s hyperinflation. Every week, Venezuela seems to be breaking its own record in the value of the transactions made with the local currency and this is not the exception. This time, there were transactions for 40 thousand million sovereign bolivars (equivalent to about US $7 million), that is, more than twice that of Colombia. For that amount Venezuelans acquired 1,175 Bitcoins, which are much fewer than half the sale/purchase of Bitcoins that occurred on February 9th this year, when 2,487 Bitcoins were exchanged in this country. On that occasion, Venezuelan invested twice as many Bitcoins as now, that is, 14 thousand million sovereign bolivars (equivalent to about one third part of the amount invested at this moment). Of course, this happened as a consequence of the rise of the price of Bitcoin in dollars and the galloping hyperinflation in the country.
By Willmen Blanco