Crypto may be down, but the developing world is seeing record P2P numbers

13 Jan, 2019
by Arthur Sillers
Crypto may be down, but the developing world is seeing record P2P numbers

While crypto in the developed world has taken a PR hit from its huge price drop, the Global South is as excited as ever for adoption. Many country’s in Africa and South America are seeing huge interest in cryptocurrency, especially peer-to-peer trading (P2P).

Bitcoin was designed as a peer-to-peer payment protocol to replace banks- a technology which would be used by individuals to transfer money. In the developed world, it became more popular as a potential investment, and a number of financial services has cropped up around it to try to take advantage of massive speculation. In Africa and South America, many country’s have limited access to banking systems, and so even in a crypto downturn, interest in the underlying technology remains high.

According to News.Bitcoin, Latin America is pushing record P2P trading, especially in Venezuela.

Local Bitcoins, the most popular P2P Bitcoin application has seen record volume of late. This is especially true of Venezuela, which is undergoing an infamous monetary crisis.

While reportedly corporations like KFC and Church’s Chicken are implementing DASH payments in the country, these examples doesn’t help the citizens to pay for goods and services at large (excepting of course, fried chicken). P2P Bitcoin trading isn’t exactly commonplace, but at least it broadens the ability for people to exchange value. Furthermore, Bitcoin may be plummeting, but it is at least a marginal improvement on the extremely instable Bolivar. Most critically, it keeps the currency inside the country, as opposed to something like Dash, which is ostensibly decentralized but brings any payments offshore.

Read More: 'Crypto for Venezuela!' improving life in nation ravaged by hyperinflation

According to NullTX, Africa is also experiencing an explosion in crypto interest, especially in P2P networks. Africa is a different story, but has some a similar need to Venezuela: more banking infrastructure. Many African country’s have limited liquidity, and even more limited access to simple banking services. Many African banks have deposit and withdrawal limits, and so Africans are having similar problems in storing and transacting in local currencies.

Thus, its perhaps unsurprising that services like Local Bitcoins are showing an intense amount of interest in the region, even as the investment potential of Bitcoin doesn’t look as exciting as in 2018.

The developing world has a much more dire need for banking than the country’s which are most excited about Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency could actually fulfill its revolutionary tendencies if it is to find adoption among nations which actually need its services.

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