U.S. President Donald Trump has just imposed a total economic embargo against Venezuela. As a result, Bitcoin price is currently trading at almost a $1000 premium in VES on P2P trading platform, Localbitcoins, and trading volumes have skyrocketed to record-breaking highs.
In Venezuela, Bitcoin Trading Activity Reaches All-Time Highs
President Trump is sharply increasing economic and diplomatic pressure to bring down socialist President Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. administration recognizes the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela.
In his latest effort, Trump is now imposing a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. According to Reuters, an executive order released by the White House on August 5, 2019 states,
All property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States … are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.
The latest U.S. expansion of sanctions further aggravates the economic crisis in Venezuela. The country is already suffering from hyperinflation. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that in Venezuela inflation will reach the astronomic rate of 10,000,000 percent by the end of 2019.
As a result, Bitcoin trading volumes reached the record high of over 65,000 million VES in the last few days, as the chart below shows.
As of this writing, Bitcoin is also selling at a premium. At LocalBitcoins, one BTC equals Ves 152,000,000, which is approximately equal to $12,640.
Venezuela’s Interim President Is Bitcoin-Friendly
In parallel, to protect their wealth, Venezuelans have been focusing on Bitcoin as a store of value asset to escape the hyperinflation.
President Trump’s aim is to have Guaidó take over the Venezuelan presidency. Guaidó has demonstrated himself to be Bitcoin-friendly.
He has been spreading information about Bitcoin. For instance, in August 2014, Guaidó announced the launch of Bitcoin exchange Plataforma Sur Bitcoin. This was one of the first exchanges that allowed Venezuelans to trade bitcoins using the local currency.