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International Investor Appetite for Bitcoin Continues to Grow Despite Falling Price & Bitter Scaling Debate
Interest in the world’s most valuable digital currency, Bitcoin, continued to grow across the globe in the third week of March.
Despite a lower price and mounting concerns about a possible split in the underlying infrastructure of the digital currency itself, volumes on peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace LocalBitcoins, where traders set their own terms and prices for each deal, have continued to grow in several countries - especially in Venezuela.
Data from Coin.dance shows that for the week ending on 2017-03-25, the amount of Bitcoin changing hands in Venezuela hit a record high of 555. In fiat currency terms, 22,565,152 Venezuelan bolivars worth of Bitcoin trades took place in the country last week:
Bitcoin trading activity has also continued to grow in other South American countries like Colombia. While Colombia’s national currency has been relatively stable around 3000 pesos per dollar since March of last year, Colombian investors have continued buying and selling the digital currency this year as evidenced by the rising weekly turnover figures on LocalBitcoins.
Last week, 245 BTC (778.8 million Colombian pesos) was traded by Colombian traders. This figure represent a new all-time high, eclipsing the previous record of 233 BTC for the week ending on March 18, 2017.
While other major South American countries like Brazil, Argentina and Peru did not post new records last week, trading activity in these regions has been on the rise since the start of 2017.
The same could be said for North American countries like the USA, Mexico and Canada, which have seen consistently high weekly turnover figures on LocalBitcoins this year; 10 out of 12 weeks this year have seen volumes above $7 million in the U.S.; weekly turnover in Mexico has been above 1.4 million pesos every single week this year, unlike in 2016, when most weeks were under 1.2 million; and in Canada, last week’s volume came in at $461,840 CAD, second-best weekly figure.
The ongoing, bitter struggle within the Bitcoin community about how to best increase the transaction throughput of the Bitcoin network, which is mainly taking place between the 'Bitcoin Unlimited' & 'Bitcoin Core' developer teams and their supporters, pushed the BTC/USD rate last week under the $1000 mark for the 3rd time this month.
However, the widespread bearish sentiment has not dented investor appetite for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency in China, where a record 7313 Bitcoin (54 million CNY) were bought and sold by Chinese traders in the week ending on 2017-03-25, according to calculations by Coin.dance.
Dotted world map image by Matti Mattila