31.10.2020

Bitcoin Payments Gateway Purse is Reconsidering Closure

The veteran business – which offered Amazon shoppers a handy workaround and discount for paying with Bitcoin – had initially said it would be deactivating its “shop and earn” feature today, April 23, and ultimately cease all operations by late June. 

Having just recently announced plans to close shop, Bitcoin (BTC) payments facilitator Purse.io says it is now reconsidering due to “an incredible outpouring of support from the community.”

In its recent update, Purse says that since announcing its intentions to shut down, the overwhelming response from the community has caused the team “to reconsider our decision”:

“Several parties – including well known Bitcoin advocates, high volume users, and established cryptocurrency companies – reached out with interest in acquiring purse.io.”

In light of this response, Purse has decided to keep “shop and earn” functional and asks the public to stay tuned for further developments. Meanwhile, it revealed, the team at Purse are now vetting new ownership for the platform.

On social media, multiple users said that the company’s role in facilitating peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin transactions was key to their positive experience with crypto.

Purse had offered a community-led service that paired users and enabled them to directly trade their Amazon gift cards for others’ cryptocurrency, using discounts to incentivize participants.

Recently, Cointelegraph reported on Visa’s support for Fold, a Lightning Network-compatible mobile app, which, while not P2P, does offer users Bitcoin rewards while shopping at major retailers such as Amazon.

Chile LocalBitcoins Volume Hits All-Time High Amid Pandemic-Induced Crisis

It is worth noting that these figures are also influenced by the depreciation of the Chilean peso. According to data from foreign exchange website XE,  the currency fell by over 6.45% against the dollar in the last two months alone – and has lost a whopping 27% over the last year. 

LocalBitcoins data shows that the weekly trading volume in Chile’s fiat currency recently touched a new all-time high.

Cryptocurrency market data platform CoinDance shows that LocalBitcoins volume in Chile reached a new record of over 330 million Chilean pesos in the week ending on April 4.

Chile LocalBitcoins volume in Chilean Pesos

According to cryptocurrency market data website CoinLib, Chilean cryptocurrency exchange CryptoMarket has also seen its trading volume increase significantly in recent weeks. Daily trading volume in U.S. dollars on the platform grew by nearly 270% compared to March 30, reaching about $281,000.

Local residents appear to be turning to crypto as they search for an asset that can protect their savings from depreciation.

As the depreciation of its fiat currency suggests, Chile is currently experiencing significant economic hardships. Bloomberg recently reported that the country’s problems are further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which forced Chile into a lockdown enforced by both police and army forces. Still, Bloomberg states that the plan is apparently working:

“Thus far, there have been just 160 recorded deaths in a nation of 18 million. There were 464 new infections announced Wednesday, compared with a peak of 534 on April 16, bringing the total to 11,296. Like everywhere, the true counts are probably higher.”

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