Bitcoin trading volume increases after bank shutdown in Venezuela

Peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in Venezuela has risen sharply due to the closure of banks due to a nationwide quarantine in Venezuela. The nationwide quarantine, which was imposed on 17 March, is intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As there are only 33 confirmed cases of the virus known to date in Venezuela, this measure is intended to reduce the spread and prevent the country’s healthcare system from a rapid increase in infections. Trade volume increases after closing of borders and banks As a result of the quarantine, the banking sector was stopped for an “indefinite time”, which led to a strong increase again after a three-week decline in weekly volume. Trading between bitcoin and Venezuelan Bolivar has risen again to over $3.4 million in the last two weeks. Peru and Colombia have also seen an increase in volume in terms of Bitcoin trade, with the two nations reporting increases of 30 percent and 15 percent respectively. Both countries had closed their respective borders in recent days. Venezuelan crypto-currency “Petro” falters The recently launched “Petro-Initiative” in Venezuela, which was intended to spread the oil-covered Venezuelan crypto-currency, has been overshadowed in recent days by the corona pandemic. President Maduro’s last major measures to promote the petroleum initiative date back to January, when the president announced the introduction of a casino that would use the profits to finance health and education programs. Maduro also announced that all sales of aviation fuel for international flights would be carried out using petroleum only. However, the efforts made by the government have not had the desired effect. Petro is a crypto-currency, which was created by the Venezuelan government to combat the country’s rising inflation. According to the Venezuelan government, one barrel (159 liters) of petroleum reserves is secured for each petro, but there are many critics who doubt this. The official sale of petroleum started on February 20, 2018. * Originally published in German at

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