In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that emerging markets are more “bitcoin or crypto native“. And according to LocalBitcoins, 2018 was a great year for bitcoin trading especially in emerging economies – 4 out of the top 10 countries by bitcoin trading volume, were emerging markets.
Here is a quick round-up of why Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are going big:
4th Place Venezuela: Bitcoin and Dash go head-to-head
Venezuela is not an emerging market but I wanted to highlight why this South American country embraced cryptocurrencies so well.
If you are like me, sometimes is difficult to follow why things got so bad in Venezuela – here is an overview on how their economic situation got to this point.
If the fiat currency where you live is worthless and hyperinflation is rampant, the obvious move is to adopt a cryptocurrency. So, P2P transactions with Bitcoin and now Dash, have become the norm.
Experts say, DASH is has surpassed the volume of bitcoin trade.
It’s difficult to find websites that offer specific volume data on the DASH/VEF market, so there’s no reading of just how quickly Dash usage has expanded since the end of 2016 when it was first started in Venezuela. But no doubt, the adoption has been high.
Dash is accepted at 1,741 merchants and counting, including Calvin Klein, Subway, and Papa John’s, with dozens of videos out there documenting purchases at these locations.
7th place Nigeria: despite government backlash Bitcoin trading is going strong
Nigerias use bitcoin mostly for P2P transactions – as most of the population still is unbanked. Cash and alternative methods of P2P payments contributed for the exponential rise of bitcoin transactions in the country.
In the end of 2018, there was a backlash from the Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Nigeria’s sixth largest bank by assets. The bank issued a general notice informing its customers that all accounts linked to cryptocurrency trading activities will be monitored and may be subject to restrictions going forward.
The pronouncement comes at a time when the Nigerian cryptocurrency ecosystem is in the news for a potential government regulatory framework promised by the main opposition candidate in next year’s elections as reported by CCN
Even entrepreneurs are choosing bitcoin over the Nigerian Naira. As reported by CCN, web designer Soji from Lagos said:
“I can use Bitcoin for anything now […] It means I can invest and also pay anybody currently, except old people, I will send them Bitcoin. “