The worsening economic situation in Venezuela which has courted a triple-digit inflation, food, riots, and citizens crossing into Colombia to buy basic necessities seems to favour digital currencies.
Bitcoin’s all-time high
According to LocalBitcoins, Bitcoin trading volume in the country hit another all-time high last week of 163,732,154 Bolivars - approximately $16,455,908 according to the official VEF/USD exchange rate of 0.1 - more than double the LocalBitcoin's volume in the USA for the same week, which stood at $7,015,712.
Services like Western Union and Moneygram closed operations in Venezuela due to the exchange control regime enacted in 2005, leaving a huge necessity related to remittance and payments in foreign currencies unattended.
Coupled with capital controls, devaluation, and critical goods shortages, and the national currency of Venezuela, the Bolivar, dropping against the USD by nearly 40% in a year, the South American country is definitely ripe for major cryptocurrency adoption.
Dash is keeping up
A Venezuela-based cryptocurrency brokerage Cryptobuyer last week too announced that it added Dash to Bitcoin on its platform due to soaring demand. It is the first platform in the country to operate while fulfilling all KYC, AML and taxation obligations.
Jorge Farias, Cryptobuyer CEO, believes that his platform’s addition of Dash will make the payment network benefit thousands of people suffering from Venezuela’s failing national economy.
Farias says to Cointelegraph:
“We have seen great reception from Venezuelan users who registered and actually began to learn about Bitcoin and Dash for the first time. This is very important because our focus is to bring the benefits of Blockchain technology to the average citizen in need of options. We have registered hundreds of users in the past week and the support and interaction with users has been very significant.”
Dash is currently the 7th most valued cryptocurrency worldwide, with a market cap of nearly $90 million. The Dash and Bitcoin alliance will enable Venezuelans to use the currencies for remittances, everyday transactions, top up cell phones, recharge debit cards and make coin sales away from other currencies.
Connecting Latin America, Brazil and China
Farias explains that the level of interest by Venezuelans has been robust as alternatives for accessing money without traditional banks are gaining traction fast.
He tells Cointelegraph:
“In fact 98% of our users are Venezuelan citizens. We have successfully reached our first goal of debit cards issuance, charged using bitcoin and ready to be spent in local currency (VEF). We are preparing a new set of services related to Dash integration that has a main focus to connect Latin American countries' blockchain markets. Cryptobuyer will release a private blockchain brokerage services branch directed to support commodities trading between Latin American countries, Brazil and China.”
Latin Americans with no access to a phone or a computer can access Dash and Bitcoin through Cryptobuyer’s local partner, TigoCTM, who provide convenient Crypto Teller Machines allowing immediate cash transactions and a unique remittance corridor.