Bitcoin transactions in Venezuela just hit a new record high amid massive hyperinflation and an ongoing presidential conundrum that has plagued the country for a while.
In the week ending February 9, LocalBitcoins, one of the most popular peer-to-peer bitcoin trading portals, saw 2,545 Bitcoin transactions worth roughly $9.3 million in weekly trading volumes, according to data compiled by Coin.dance. The recorded traded volumes on peer to peer platform LocalBitcoins are just a fraction of overall estimated Bitcoin trading by Venezuelans.
Venezuela has been enduring a recent surge in Bitcoin trading as the country is going through a financial catastrophe with the inflation rates forecasted to reach ten million percent in 2019, according to the IMF.
The Bolivar, the national currency has been devalued by 95% and renamed as the Sovereign Bolivar. Under the regime of the current President, Nicholas Maduro, the government has been trying to circumvent US sanctions by looking to cryptocurrency. While the Petro, the country’s first oil-backed crypto, has been widely introduced and dubbed the official alternate currency in the country, adoption of the Petro cryptocurrency has, however, raised validity concerns.
On the same note, the country has recently adopted a new crypto regulation bill which lists the required licenses for mining and introduces fines for unlicensed activities.