Data published on Sep. 2 from monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trade volumes on P2P crypto exchange platforms, showed Venezuelans traded more last week than ever before.
Bitcoin trading has hit a giant new record yet again in Venezuela as the country’s crippling hyperinflation continues to play out.
In the seven days ending Aug. 31, 114 billion sovereign bolivars (VES) changed hands on Localbitcoins alone.
That figure dwarfs the previous record set the week before at 77 billion. In Bitcoin terms, however, the uptick was far smaller, rising from 465 BTC to 533 BTC.
As Cointelegraph has reported, recent weekly highs in VES trading underscore the weakness of the Venezuelan currency as it devalues against every other.
The inflation rate in fact dipped in July after the government brought in financial controls. While figures of 10 million percent circulated before, July’s annual rate of inflation was more like 265,000%, Reuters reported in August.
The government nonetheless is still pushing its controversial national currency, which includes state-issued digital currency, Petro. Last week, a remittance system for Petro came into being, but its use perspectives remain uncertain in the wake of sweeping sanctions against the token.
A deal to allow one of Venezuela’s largest department store chains, Traki, to accept cryptocurrency payments meanwhile completed the week previously.
Venezuela’s largest bank, the Bank of Venezuela (BDV), has added support for the country’s controversial Petro digital currency.
As cryptocurrency news outlet Decrypt reported on Sept. 13, BDV clients have discovered a new section in their online banking account dedicated to cryptocurrencies.
At present, the crypto wallet only caters to Petro, but as the section appears to be still under development, speculation suggests more tokens may follow.
Petro, launched by the Venezuelan government, is notionally pegged to the country’s oil reserves. The United States Treasury Department believes President Nicolas Maduro wants the digital currency to help Venezuela evade international sanctions.
As Cointelegraph reported, Venezuela is becoming increasingly reliant on decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as other alternatives prove unreliable.
Huge inflation affecting its national currency, the bolivar, has led to record-breaking trading volumes on peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins.
For the week ending Sept. 7, the most recent period for which data is available, Venezuelans traded more than 120 billion bolivars for Bitcoin.
BDV has yet to publicly comment on its plans, which would make it the first Venezuelan bank to offically support cryptocurrency.
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