Have you heard of LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins is a bitcoin startup company based in Helsinki, Finland. Its service facilitates over-the-counter trading of local currency for bitcoins. Users post advertisements on the website, where they state exchange rates and payment methods for buying or selling bitcoins. Other users reply to these advertisements and agree to meet the person to buy bitcoins with cash or pay with online banking. LocalBitcoins also offers a reputation and feedback mechanism for users and an escrow and conflict-resolution service. (source)
Every other week, Bitcoin is setting new trading volume records around the world. The most recent Coin Dance charts indicate that the global trading volume is holding steady as the Christmas holidays draw closer. Pakistan, Russia, and the Ukraine all set new weekly highs, showing that the demand for Bitcoin is still in full swing.
CONSUMERS ARE WARMING UP TO BITCOIN
Whenever the price per Bitcoin goes up, it always spurs a new wave of excitement among consumers and investors. Most people buying into the recent Bitcoin price surge are those looking to hold on to cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. Once the price reaches a satisfying target, those people will look to liquidate their assets and seek new investment opportunities.
That scenario is nothing new in the Bitcoin world, though. Ever since cryptocurrency gained traction, there has been furious trading activity, mainly across the Chinese Bitcoin exchanges. Even though there is a lot of back-and-forth trading taking place, the Bitcoin price has not budged in recent months. In fact, it seems that the value continues to go up, which is baffling to a lot of people.
It is not surprising to see that part of this price surge has come as a result of a growing Bitcoin demand in countries where economic turmoil is an everyday occurrence. The Ukraine, for example, recently saw its largest bank becoming government property. If that switch had not happened, PrivatBank might have collapsed, sending the local economy into a downward spiral rather quickly.
As this financial turmoil takes place in the Ukraine, the weekly LocalBitcoins trading volume continues to increase week after week. In fact, a new record was set last week, with over 2 million Hryvnia worth of Bitcoin changing hands. Compared to just a few weeks ago, that trading volume is almost double.
A similar trend is noticeable in Russia, though that country may not be suffering from a crippled economy. Given the news coming out of Russia related to their financial status, it is hard to grasp the full picture. One thing’s for sure–the demand for Bitcoin through LocalBitcoins continues to grow. Despite banning the platform, the government can not keep people from accessing Bitcoin, as it operates beyond their control.
Perhaps the biggest change in weekly Bitcoin volume emanates from Pakistan. To be more precise, the LocalBitcoins trading volume for last week is four times as high as normal, which is quite unusual. For now, it remains unclear what is driving the demand, but it is a positive trend to behold nonetheless.