The trading volume for Tanzanian bitcoin pairings on Localbitcoins has spiked to establish a new record high this week. The sudden spike in volume has occurred after several months of increasing warnings regarding virtual currencies from Tanzania’s central bank. Certain South American markets have also seen spikes in trading activity, with Peru and Vietnam also seeing record trading volume this past week.
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Record Trading Volume in Tanzania
The Tanzanian peer-to-peer (P2P) markets on Localbitcoins have exploded this past week, with the markets producing record trading volume approximately three times that of its preceding fiat-valued volume record.
During the week of the 14th of April 2018, Tanzania’s P2P markets witnessed roughly 295,000,000 Tanzanian shillings (TZS), approximately $130,000 USD, worth of bitcoin change hands. The Tanzanian markets also set a record for the number of bitcoins traded in a single week (17) – with more bitcoin being exchanged in seven days than during the preceding four weeks.
Thirsty Whale or Response to Regulatory Concerns?
The spike appears to have occurred without a specific news catalyst, as no major events appear to have occurred with regards to Tanzania’s cryptocurrency sector in the last week. Tanzania’s central bank has, however, issued a number of statements regarding cryptocurrencies in recent months.
Last month, the Bank of Tanzania (BOT)’s director of national payment systems, Bernard Dadi, indicated that the central bank is currently researching different potential legislative models for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. “Bot is currently studying internet currencies with a view to finding a permanent regulatory solution […] The bank of Tanzania is, in the meantime, taking a cautious approach by warning members of the public on the risks associated with internet currencies,” Mr. Dadi said. “There is no mechanism to prevent the public from accessing cryptocurrencies outside Tanzania’s jurisdiction without blocking public access to the Internet,” he added.
In January, the Bank of Tanzania also described bitcoin as comprising a potential threat to the East African Community (EAC)’s plans to develop a regional currency.
P2P Markets of Peru and Venezuela Witness Record Volume
Trading between the Peruvian Sol (PEN) and bitcoin on Localbitcoins spiked to set a record of 1,704,657 PEN (approximately $530,000 USD) this past week.
The spike saw roughly 71 bitcoins exchange hands – which is the second highest number of bitcoin traded for PEN in a single week on Localbitcoins. The record was set during December 2015, when 80 bitcoins were traded for PEN – then equating to just $36,800 worth of trade.
Venezuela’s P2P bitcoin markets have continued to produce accelerated momentum, establishing a new record for weekly trading volume for the sixth time in seven weeks when measured in Venezuelan Bolivars (VEF). 2,789,991,957,138 VEF was traded this past week, dwarfing the preceding week’s record of 1,744,669,576,098 VEF.
Venezuelan Volume Records Representative of Bolivar Hyperinflation
In many instances, Venezuela’s recent P2P trading volume highs (when measured against VEF) have been more indicative of the extremity of the hyperinflation besieging the nation than it has surging demand for bitcoin.
When measuring Localbitcoins trade volume in BTC, one can see that the 652 bitcoins traded comprised a slight decline from 663 bitcoins traded during the prior week of the 7th of April. Whilst the price of bitcoin has increased by approximately 22.3% since April 7th, such does not account for the approximately 60% increase in trade volume when measured against VEF.
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