Weak Internet Connectivity Threatens Bitcoin Trading in Venezuela Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 30 March 2020 Internet usage has increased globally, as many people spend time at home in quarantine to curb the spread of the global pandemic, coronavirus. This surge has put a significant strain on Venezuelan internet connections, says the country’s biggest telecoms operator Movistar in an interview with Bloomberg. Prior to the global lockdown, the telecommunications network of Venezuela was not the swiftest. Now it’s on the verge of ruin, with millions of residents having to resort to video messaging and downloading while stuck at home. This lag may affect crypto trading in this period, since it is a venture that requires a fast internet connection. Global Lockdown Putting Strain on Venezuelan Internet According to the Speedtest Global Index, the socialist country also has the slowest Internet speed in Latin America. Experts say years of under-investment and neglect, rolling blackouts, and tight price controls have put Venezuela behind other nations in the region for years. Within the first seven days of enforced quarantine, Venezuelans have put a massive strain on the struggling internet connection in their country. According to Bloomberg, President of Movistar Venezuela, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zarco, issued a letter to the country’s internet subscribers on March 20, urging them to use the network responsibly. He said that the connection was necessary for critical sectors of the economy like food and healthcare services, which are vital to the nation’s welfare in the ongoing crisis. According to data sourced from private experts who spoke with Bloomberg, much of the data consumed is geared towards entertainment. Netflix streaming more than doubled in the first five days, the individual said, who is not allowed to talk about the data publicly. Twitter, TikTok, and WhatsApp use increased by around 40% each. The fuel shortages exacerbate the problem. Venezuela’s cell towers run on diesel, although the closing of several gas stations makes it difficult for technicians to get out to repair faults at towers. Vandalism is also a concern because people strip valuable resources such as copper, which can be exported overseas, which has undermined the backup network for all operators, including state-owned Movilnet, the second-biggest telecom company in the country. During his recent home-based job Javier Valero, an attorney based in Caracas, has encountered considerable difficulties. “My Internet cuts off all the time — I’m either late or I hear half of what’s being talked about” in conference calls,” Valero told Bloomberg. “It’s so slow it’s tragic.” Challenging Times for Venezuelan Crypto Traders As the crypto space is essentially an online industry, Venezuelans would find it difficult to transact and use digital assets. Venezuelans flocked toward crypto after their currency experienced a 10,000,000 percent inflation in July 2019, recording all-time highs for Bitcoin volume numbers at the time. The national currency’s failure has sparked crypto interest in the country, but participation may be difficult with the internet’s condition during this period.