Amid the massive outbreak of COVID-19, Venezuela is under national quarantine. With 33 cases confirmed in the country, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has declared a national shutdown including financial organizations like banks, in order to prevent the community spreading of the disease. In this scenario, it has been noticed that peer to peer Bitcoin trading has taken off in Venezuela.
Banking Shutdown and Rise of Crypto trading volume
Venezuela’s banking system is at a standstill as of now. Under these circumstances, P2P trading in cryptocurrencies has taken off. Over the past two weeks, the Localbitcoins trade activity between BTC and the bolivar has recovered over $3.4 million. Peru and Colombia have also witnessed a 30% and 15% spike in Localbitcoins volume respectively. All in all, the grave economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in an uptrend in cryptocurrency adoption across South America.
COVID-19 is affecting Venezuela’s Petro dreams
Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro does not seem to be in a good state as of now. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a major setback in Venezuela’s efforts to drive the adoption of Petro.
In January, President Maduro launched Petro-powered casino, and announced that all profits from the venture will be directed towards funding health and education programs. However, there has not been any major initiative in regard to driving Petro adoption after January.
As of now, Petro does not seem to be performing well. As per the Localbitcoins listings, the citizens of Venezuela are offloading Petro at almost half of its fixed value i.e $60.
Crypto Market amid COVID-19
Despite the surge in crypto adoption across South America, the overall market scenario still remains gloomy. However, it seems that the crypto space could well witness a major spike soon. Prominent personalities like Arthur Hayes, BitMEX CEO are pretty sure that BTC could well hit the $20K mark by the end of 2020.