Bitcoin and collapsing economies: Venezuela records higher trade volume on LocalBitcoins than US

Venezuela and Colombia traded 11,208 BTCs through the p2p exchange platform LocalBitcoins during the month of January 2019. According to Coin Dance figures, these two Latin American countries reached, for the second consecutive month, more than 80% of the exchange volume in the region.

In total, Venezuela and Colombia account for 84.74% of BTC trade through LocalBitcoins in Latin America. The dominance of both nations increased by 2.95% over December 2018. Venezuela traded 8,319 bitcoins in recent weeks, 1.64% more than the previous month, when it reached the 8,182 BTC milestone. Thus, traders of bitcoins in bolivars continue to top the regional list for the third consecutive month.

For its part, Colombia had a decrease of 10.25% in the volume of sale and purchase of BTC, compared to December 2018. Its total in January was 2,889 BTC, compared to 3,219 traded in December.

Also, the third country by volume traded was Peru, where 1062 BTC moved in transactions during the five weeks of the first month of 2019. Meanwhile, Mexico, Chile and Argentina traded 956 bitcoins; a volume similar to previous months, according to Coin Dance.

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Image CryptoNews / Data: Coin Dance

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Venezuela once again surpassed the volume of U.S. trade, which in January hit 7,116 BTC; an amount that marks a decrease of 600 BTC from 7,722 in December. In this way, Venezuela establishes itself as the first country in the entire American continent in terms of sales volumes of bitcoins.

At the moment, the 8,319 BTCs traded in Venezuela are only surpassed by the Russian market through LocalBitcoins, which reached 17,149 bitcoins in January 2019.

It is important to note that, despite the political turmoil in Venezuela during this first month of the year, sales volumes did not undergo major changes. However, the price of bitcoin did change. One day after Juan Guaidó was sworn in as interim president of Venezuela, a bitcoin was being sold in Venezuela at a price 16% higher than in the rest of the world. According to figures from and Coin Dance, bitcoins were traded in the South American country for US$3,638, when the price according to CoinMarketCap was US$3,598.

On the other hand, last January 30th, the law for the Integral System of Cryptocurrencies of Venezuela came into force, by constitutional decree. This legislation aims to establish the rules and procedures that will regulate all commercial activity around the crypto currencies, including exchanges, mining activities and technological developments. This is important in relation to the crypto market, since, according to legal provisions, the regulatory body SUNACRIP will be in charge of establishing prices in the crypto exchanges and even establish what crypto coins could be traded. At the moment, it is not clear how this could affect the bitcoin market throughout the country.

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