This article was originally published here.
Bitcoin trading volume is hitting new all-time highs in Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela on the peer-to-peer crypto trading platform LocalBitcoins.
Each country traded the highest volumes of their own national currencies in exchange for Bitcoin for the week ending May 11, 2019.
Data compiled by Coin Dance shows that Argentinian residents traded 13,097,360 Argentine pesos (ARS) for a total of roughly 45 Bitcoin.
Argentina BTC Trading Volume on LocalBitcoins
The record-setting trading volume came on the heels of the peso’s tumble last month as President Mauricio Macri’s government battles severe political uncertainty in the face of record-high inflation and slow growth.
According to a Financial Times report on April 25,
“The sharp drop in Argentina assets comes as former leftist president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has gained traction in polls ahead of the presidential election in October – even though she has yet to confirm her candidacy. This week, a poll released by Isonomia, a local company, revealed that in a second round run-off with Mr Macri, Ms Fernandez would win.”
“’Cristina is not a tail risk anymore,’ said Edwin Gutierrez, the head of emerging market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Asset Management. ‘People are pissed off and the ongoing recession, inflationary pressures and weak currency are not a recipe for an incumbent to get re-elected.’”
Colombia’s trading spike to 10,632,752,608 pesos for 583 BTC coincided with legislative developments.
Colombia BTC Trading Volume on LocalBitcoins
“The Congress of the Republic of Colombia has been presented a bill that would seek to regulate companies specialized in the handling of so-called ‘cryptocurrencies’ or virtual currencies.
Representative Mauricio Toro, who authored the initiative, explained that the aim is to design a regulatory scheme that prevents people from falling victim to new modalities of fraud growing around these new financial products. ‘We do not want to start talking about currencies, but about assets that are exchanged through digital platforms. The idea is to allow this exchange between Colombians, but have it regulated by the State,’ said Mr. Toro.”
If passed, the bill will represent a marked difference in Colombia’s crypto policy, previously defined by a June 2017 circular from the country’s Superintendencia Financiera. It states that Bitcoin is not a currency in Colombia and has no value under capital market laws.
Meanwhile, Venezuela’s bolivar-to-Bitcoin trading volume hit another all-time high as the bolivar’s collapse continues and the country’s political unrest persists.
Venezuelans traded 40,948,658,596 bolivar for Bitcoin, up from 37,063,278,050 traded in the previous week.
Venezuela BTC Trading Volume on LocalBitcoins
Norway is currently meeting with representatives of the main political actors of Venezuela in an effort to reach a peaceful resolution following a failed attempt by opposition leader Juan Guaidó to oust President Nicolás Maduro.