Bitcoin On Up-and-Up in Latin America, Though Venezuelans Get New Woe
Bitcoin trading has recently spiked in several Latin American countries on LocalBitcoins, a popular over-the-counter and peer-to-peer bitcoin trading service. A new draconian shift by the Venezuelan government seems poised to chip away at the trend in that country, however.
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BTC Buying Spikes in Nations Where Monetary Crises Aren’t Distant Memories
Chile was racked with hyperinflation in the 1970s. Argentina suffered similarly from the 1980s into the 1990s. And Peru struggled likewise in the same timeframe. Today, Exhibit A in contemporary monetary crisis is Venezuela’s bolívar, which, as an aside, Venezuelan autocrat Nicolas Maduro is pegging to his administration’s rather outrageous petro cryptocurrency.
Accordingly, it seems a growing number of Latin Americans are trying to get the jump on such possible future monetary shocks by trading into bitcoin. Twitter crypto pundit Kevin Rooke noted as much earlier today, August 27th, highlighting how 2018 has seen BTC trading spikes on LocalBitcoins not only in Venezuela but also in the aforementioned nations of Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
The rest of South America is learning from Venezuela.
You get a lot less Bitcoin if you buy it after hyperinflation occurs.
Argentina, Chile, and Peru have all been breaking exchange volume records on LocalBitcoins this summer. pic.twitter.com/e9JPt1Iucx
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) August 27, 2018
With the recent Turkish bitcoin interest spike after Turkey’s own currency has plunged into turmoil, it’s a trend that’s seemingly starting to take shape around the world: citizens of troubled economies trying bitcoin to escape, or step beyond, the pain points of fiat currency.
It’s not that bitcoin is the perfect alternative yet in its time-tested though still fledgling lifespan.
Rather, it’s that BTC already provides a keystone alternative to what’s been the monetary status quo in our current epoch, an alternative that more and more international users are turning to as a borderless redoubt. As the OG cryptocurrency, bitcoin is the first of its kind, and said users are turning to the digital asset to potentially hedge their money in a way never before possible in the history of commerce.
Maduro’s Admin Set to Make Banking, and Thus Bitcoin Commerce, Even Harder
Reporting from in the nation, Venezuelan bitcoiner and Purse.io Head of Support Eduardo Gómez pointed out today that President Maduro’s administration is enacting permission rules and IP address disclosures on banking transactions committed by Venezuelans abroad.
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
In the same thread, Gómez noted that such a flex would have a suppressing effect on remittances and domestic bitcoin trading:
“Many Venezuelans who live outside the country use their national bank accounts to send money to family members and to purchase local currency from traders by selling USD. Bitcoin users will be directly affected by this. Many Localbitcoin traders live outside the country […] and depend on having access to their bank accounts to make the trades.”
The new rules mark only the latest top-down anti-populist tyranny Maduro has loosened on the Venezuelan people. How much the crackdown will affect bitcoin trading in the nation will be a point to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Something’s In the Water
Presently, there’s no shortage of macro considerations when it comes to currency, particularly in the international arena.
As such, the nuts and bolts of the future of the world’s monetary system has been getting a lot more attention in academia as of late. A recent paper co-authored by Dr. Armin Haas, Dr. Steffen Murau, and Joe Rini saw the researchers posit four possible future systems, which were 1) The Continued Dollar Hegemony scenario, 2) The Competing Monetary Blocs scenario, 3) The International Monetary Federation scenario, and 4) The International Monetary Anarchy scenario.
You don’t have to parse these four scenario titles for long before it comes clear that a lot is up in the air where global finance is concerned in the century ahead.
Bitcoin couldn’t ask for a better opening, then. What’s clear is that things are a’changing. The Chinese yuan is rising. The U.S. is fighting trade wars with 10 percent of all nations. The dollar’s hegemony is seemingly starting to see unprecedented cracks.
But maybe those aren’t just cracks in the dollar. Maybe they’re cracks in fiat in general.
If so, bitcoin lies in wait in the wings.
What’s your take? Can BTC beat out fiat over the next 100 years? Let us know, yay or nay, in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay