Venezuela has recently experienced an incredible surge of peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin (BTC) trading across the nation. This happened due to the country’s banks going into shutdown thanks to a nationwide quarantine enacted to try and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Trying To Keep Chaos In Check
On the 17th of March, 2020, Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, enacted a country-wide quarantine in order to try and hold the spread of COVID-19.
— SudebanInforma (@SudebanInforma) March 15, 2020
As it stands now, only 33 cases have been confirmed in the country, with the administration holding out hopes that these emergency measures, though extreme, will help the country’s health system avoid being overwhelmed by a rapid increase in infections.
As it stands now, the national banking system of Venezuela has been officially halted for an indefinite amount of time, being the most significant measure in the sudden quarantine. This, in turn, sparked a massive increase in P2P crypto trading across the country. Localbitcoins, after a three-week skid in weekly volumes, experienced an enormous amount of trading between Bitcoin and the Venezuelan Bolivar. As it stands now, the trading volumes between the Bolivar and BTC have climbed above the $3.4 million mark, having done so for the past two weeks.
Widespread Adoption Of Crypto
The consequences of the coronavirus within South America seems to be wide scale adoption of the crypto industry. LocalBitcoins had its volumes jump over more than 30% within Peru, and another 15% rise happened within Columbia over the past week. In recent times, both countries have recently closed their borders as the virus spreads within the continent.
COVID-19 Stopping Spread Of Petro
With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the world with the sheer amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), it seems that even Venezuela is feeling it. The country has started to calm down with trying to force the adoption of its state-owned cryptocurrency, the Petro.
The last major push that Maduro has made to drive the Petro’s usage appeared to have taken place in January of this year. The president had announced the launch of a casino that uses the Petro and is claimed that the profits of this casino would be donated to health and education programs across the country. An interesting way to delegate funding, no matter how you look at it. The casino itself was launched a week after Maduro proclaimed all sales of airline fuel for international flights are now mandated to be in Petro, as well.