In the last week of March, the amount of Bitcoin traded by Mexicans via the LocalBitcoins P2P platform exploded by a huge percentage to reach a record high.
As the White House is mulling ways to restrict payments sent to Mexico in a desperate attempt to curb the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing the US border illegally, the demand for Bitcoin has exploded in Mexico. The top-ranking cryptocurrency set a new trading record of around $560,000 on LocalBitcoins.
According to Coin Dance, Mexicans traded BTC worth approximately 10.70 million pesos towards the end of March, just days after a senior Trump administration official told reporters that plans to restrict remittance from the US to Mexico were underway. A report released by the Wall Street Journal on April 9 reads in part:
“The Trump administration laid out ways to move more aggressively against Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S., including stepping up pressure on Department of Homeland Security officials, amid a fresh setback in the courts and continued resistance on Capitol Hill.
A senior administration official on Tuesday said the White House is considering attempting to restrict the flow of remittances from the U.S., in order to discourage migrants.”
Countries turning to Bitcoin to cushion effects of sanctions
Trading volumes on LocalBitcoins have also seen a surge in Venezuela. According to Coin Dance, over 9800 BTC has been transacted by Venezuelans since the start of 2019, which roughly translates to $51,042,026, at press time.
With the US government vowing to prevent payment companies like Visa and MasterCard from processing transactions in countries like Mexico, Venezuela Iran, and North Korea, citizens may be forced to adopt Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is politically neutral and border-less by design. It is a P2P digital currency that doesn’t require any intermediary, such as a bank or a trusted individual, to intermediate its exchange.