Ultimate Resource For Globally High Trading Volume On LocalBitcoins (#GotBitcoin?)
Trading volume on Finnish peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin (BTC) exchange Localbitcoins hit a high not seen since November 2018, reveals data shown on cryptocurrency analytics website CoinDance. Ultimate Resource For Globally High Trading Volume On LocalBitcoins (#GotBitcoin?)
According to data from CoinDance, LocalBitcoins global weekly bitcoin trading volume hit $65.6 million in the week ending on Sunday, July 7. This is the highest level since November last year when the weekly trading volume of the platform hit $67.7 million in the week ending on Sunday, November 24, 2018.
In some countries, last week represented an all-time high LocalBitcoins volume. For instance, in Argentina, last week the platform’s trading volume hit a new high of over 15.22 million Argentine Pesos (over $364,000).
Venezuela also saw over 47 billion in Venezuelan Bolivars traded, the highest volume to date. Worth noting, however, is that the volume has actually been decreasing in BTC terms, highlighting the rampant hyperinflation plaguing the country.
Nevertheless, the rise in volume has not gone unnoticed. Senior market analyst at stock exchange Etoro Mati Greenspan pointed out in a tweet sent earlier today that the current levels are at their highest since November last year and commented:
“Peer to peer bitcoin trading is strong atm.”
Previously, LocalBitcoins lost a portion of its traders after quietly removing in-person cash trading from its service at the beginning of June.
The company publicly confirmed the ban on Twitter and stated that the platform had to renounce local cash trading to “adapt to the current regulatory environment.”
As Cointelegraph reported at the end of June, P2P bitcoin trading platform Bisq is seeing record trading volumes after Localbitcoins removed in-person cash payments.
LocalBitcoins: Tor Browser Users At Risk of Losing Their Bitcoins
Finnish peer-to-peer crypto exchange LocalBitcoins has warned users about alleged security risks associated with anonymous browser Tor Browser.
On Sept. 9, transactional compliance expert Richard Bensberg tweeted a screenshot of a LocalBitcoins banner warning Tor users about the risk of losing their Bitcoins (BTC), which stated:
“Warning to all Tor users: A Tor browser exposes you to the risk of having your bitcoins stolen.”
LocalBitcoins then responded to Bensberg, saying that while using Tor Browser is not against its terms of service, it does not recommend it for security reasons. LocalBitcoins did not specify why the browser makes users more vulnerable to theft.
Bensberg criticized the move by the exchange, arguing that Localbitcoins has “really lost the plot” by putting a banner warning against the browsing tool praised for providing privacy and anonymity.
Tor Browser is the flagship product of the Tor Project, the firm behind the anonymous Tor network. In July 2019, Cointelegraph reported that the Tor Project’s crowdfunding campaign BitcoinForTor reached its $10,000 softcap just 25 hours after launch.
The two-week campaign eventually raised $18,892 in order to support its goals of privacy and freedom online. Tor has many proponents, including famous National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Meanwhile, LocalBitcoins has seen a notable drop in trading volumes after the exchange abruptly terminated the option for users to perform local cash trades in early June. On June 18, LocalBitcoins continued to tighten policies, introducing four different account tiers within its new verification system, which puts limits for selling Bitcoin and posting ads on its platform.
Venezuela, Argentina Set New Weekly P2P Bitcoin Trading Volume Records
Bitcoin (BTC) weekly trading volumes on peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform LocalBitcoins in Venezuela and Argentina have hit new all-time highs in their respective national currencies.
Cryptocurrency data website CoinDance shows that LocalBitcoins trading volume in local fiat currency in Argentina and Venezuela have hit new record highs.
According to the website’s data, the week ending on Dec. 21 saw over 32.6 million Argentine pesos (equivalent to about $544,905) traded on the platform, or 34% more than the record registered two weeks before.
In Venezuela, on the other hand, over 248 billion bolivars (about $24.8 million) were traded on LocalBitcoins during the same week, nearly 15.6% more than the record volume registered during the previous week.
Bitcoin Used To Escape Central Bank Policy
As Cointelegraph reported in early November, P2P trading volumes in Venezuela have started setting records after measures taken by the local central bank to curb Bitcoin inflows. Specifically, the regulator decided to ban Argentines from buying BTC with credit cards after also banning buying more than $200 per month.
The capital control measures came after in mid-September the bank announced the intention to increase the peso’s monetary base by 2.5% per month over the following two months.
Venezuelan citizens, on the other hand, apparently use Bitcoin to escape the extreme inflation of the bolivar. The increasing volume may also be spurred by late-September reports that the local central bank that it is exploring the possibilities of holding Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) in its coffers.
Chile LocalBitcoins Volume Hits All-Time High Amid Pandemic-Induced Crisis
LocalBitcoins data shows that the weekly trading volume in Chile’s fiat currency recently touched a new all-time high.
Cryptocurrency market data platform CoinDance shows that LocalBitcoins volume in Chile reached a new record of over 330 million Chilean pesos in the week ending on April 4.
It is worth noting that these figures are also influenced by the depreciation of the Chilean peso. According to data from foreign exchange website XE, the currency fell by over 6.45% against the dollar in the last two months alone — and has lost a whopping 27% over the last year.
According to cryptocurrency market data website CoinLib, Chilean cryptocurrency exchange CryptoMarket has also seen its trading volume increase significantly in recent weeks. Daily trading volume in U.S. dollars on the platform grew by nearly 270% compared to March 30, reaching about $281,000.
Local residents appear to be turning to crypto as they search for an asset that can protect their savings from depreciation.
As the depreciation of its fiat currency suggests, Chile is currently experiencing significant economic hardships. Bloomberg recently reported that the country’s problems are further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which forced Chile into a lockdown enforced by both police and army forces. Still, Bloomberg states that the plan is apparently working:
“Thus far, there have been just 160 recorded deaths in a nation of 18 million. There were 464 new infections announced Wednesday, compared with a peak of 534 on April 16, bringing the total to 11,296. Like everywhere, the true counts are probably higher.”
Iran Ditches The Rial Amid Hyperinflation As Localbitcoins Seem To Trade Near $35K
Iran’s parliament votes to institute a new currency as coronavirus and sanctions hyperinflate the rial and local Bitcoin prices skyrocket relative to official exchanges.
Per a May 4 report from local outlet Mehr News, Iran’s new ‘Reforming Monetary and Banking Law’ has passed in parliament. The new law dictates the transition from rial to the toman — valued at 10,000 rials — within the next two years.
Hyperinflation And The BTC Connection In Iran
Back in 2018, Iranian authorities set an official exchange rate at some 42,000 rial to the dollar. Many currency exchanges still show this as the going rate. At the same time, peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins is seeing prices of 1,445,658,900 rials per BTC — according to the official exchange rate, roughly $34,500.
It is, however, not the time to start selling BTC in Iran. Despite official proclamations, the rial has taken a beating alongside the Iranian economy.
According to Radio Free Europe, black market trading had the U.S. dollar selling for 156,000 rials. The toman would cut four zeroes off of current rates, but may well run into the same problems that have stymied the rial.
Years Of Hyperinflation In Iran
United States sanctions following President Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal initially set in motion years of hyperinflation and economic woes.
More recently, Iran’s struggle to contain the coronavirus and the collapse of the price of oil have compounded existing problems.
Cointelegraph has previously reported on the increasing value of crypto to Iranians. Other countries facing hyperinflation have used crypto to combat slipping values — most recently, Venezuela saw a new BTC-backed synthetic dollar.
Russia Leads Global BTC Trading On LocalBitcoins For 2Nd Month In A Row
Russia tops global Bitcoin trading on P2P exchange LocalBitcoins amid local crypto regulation uncertainty.
Despite local cryptocurrency uncertainty, Russia is strengthening its leadership on major peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins in the share of Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes.
Russia has traded the most Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins exchange for two consecutive months, April and May 2020, according to an analysis by crypto media startup CryptoDiffer.
Russia trades nearly twice as much BTC on LocalBitcoins as Venezuela and the U.S.
According to the data, Russia was responsible for 19% of total BTC trading volumes on LocalBitcoins this May, leaving Venezuela and the United States trailing. LocalBitcoins’ BTC trading in Venezuela and the U.S. reportedly accounted for 11% and 10%, respectively. Total Bitcoin trading volumes on LocalBitcoins in May 2020 amounted to 17,867 bitcoins, the firm found.
The information provided by CryptoDiffer apparently coincides with data from major Bitcoin statistics website, Coin Dance. According to Coin Dance’s website, Russia’s weekly BTC trading volumes on LocalBitcoins accounted for about 800 BTC in May 2020. Meanwhile, Venezuela and the U.S. were trading around 400 BTC per week during the same month.
LocalBitcoins Expands Its Push Into Russian Market
A spokesperson for LocalBitcoins confirmed to Cointelegraph that Russia has been one of the leading markets on the platform. Citing an internal LocalBitcoins’ report, the representative said that Russia was responsible for 17,9% of the total trade volume on the exchange in May 2020.
Finland-based LocalBitcoins has been providing Bitcoin trading services against the Russian ruble since 2013, the person said. After hitting all-time highs in weekly BTC trading in 2017, Russian market has remained an important market to date, the LocalBitcoins’ representative noted.
Russia’s Bitcoin trading leadership on LocalBitcoins comes amid the firm’s apparent push into the Russian market. In mid-April 2020, LocalBitcoins introduced a dedicated Russian-language blog, debuting with an article featuring a Russian community manager, Vladislav Alimpiev. LocalBitcoins has been also promoting its service for Russian users, tweeting that the platform is among key crypto exchanges for Russia.
Overall Trading Volumes On Localbitcoins Has Declined In Recent Years
Russia became the largest trader of Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins amid a general decline of Bitcoin trading activity on the platform. According to data from Coin Dance, weekly Bitcoin trading volumes on the exchange collapsed from around 10,000 BTC in May 2019 to about 4,500 BTC in May 2020.
Bitcoin trading volumes on LocalBitcoins dropped significantly after the platform abruptly terminated some local cash trades in June 2019. The volumes continued to decline as the exchange was tightening Anti-Money Laundering measures and suspending accounts in multiple regions.
The drop on LocalBitcoins’ global markets comes in line with a significant decline in its Russian market. As such, weekly BTC trading volumes in Russia dropped roughly 60% from about 2,000 BTC in May 2019 to 800 BTC in May 2020, according to data from Coin Dance.
While Russia is apparently the top market for LocalBitcoins so far, the country has seen some issues in terms of crypto regulation. On May 21, Russian lawmakers suggested criminalizing crypto violations with fines up to $28,240 and imprisonment for up to seven years.
Addressing The Issue, The Localbitcoins’ Representative Said:
“We are following the legal situation in Russia and we hope that Russian people will continue to have access to Bitcoin and its benefits in the future too.”
United States Sets New Record For P2P Bitcoin Trading
Peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading in the United States has surged to post its strongest weekly volume on record, with almost $29 million trading on Localbitcoins and Paxful.
Peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) trading activity in the United States surged to a new all-time high during the week of June 7, according to data published by UsefulTulips.
Over the past seven days, nearly $29 million worth of Bitcoin has changed hands for U.S. dollars on leading P2P marketplaces Localbitcoins and Paxful.
The past week saw only North America and Middle Eastern/North African trade increase, with all other regions posting slight declines in seven-day volume.
Over $24 million in Bitcoin changed hands on Paxful in the United States alongside $4.6 million traded on Localbitcoins.
With roughly $1 million trading on Canada’s P2P markets as well, the past week comprised the second-strongest on record for North American trade with $29.8 million in weekly activity — trailing behind the week of May 20, 2018, which posted $30.2 million in North American trade.
North American trade produced double the volume of the second-strongest region for P2P activity, with Sub-Saharan Africa generating $13.6 million in weekly trade.
Russian P2P Trade Drops 7.5%
Nigerian P2P trade appears to be plateauing after posting several weeks of consecutive volume records, with the world’s second-largest national P2P Bitcoin market generating $8.76 million in weekly trade.
After posting over $8.4 million in weekly trade for the last week of April, a 7.5% drop in Russian P2P volume has seen the gap between it and Nigeria’s markets widen — with $7.81 million in Bitcoin changing hands this past week.
Venezuela, the fourth-largest P2P market saw trade increase by a couple of percentage points for the week of June 7, edging past $5 million for the second time since February.
P2P trade between the British pound and Bitcoin edged past $4 million this past week, followed by China with $3.87 million, Colombia with $3.06 million, and India with $2.87 million.
LocalBitcoins Says Its Transactions From Darknet Markets Dropped 70%
LocalBitcoins claims that darknet-related transactions on the platforum dropped 70% after it adopted AML and KYC regulations in September 2019.
LocalBitcoins, a major peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchange, has purportedly managed to significantly cut the amount of criminal funds on its platform in 2020.
The P2P platform has seen a decline of over 70% in transactions from darknet markets between September 2019 and May 2020, LocalBitcoins claims.
Jukka Blomberg, chief marketing officer at LocalBitcoins, told Cointelegraph that the drop comes in response to Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations adopted by the platform in September 2019.
The calculations are based on blockchain analysis by major crypto analytics firm Elliptic as well as LocalBitcoins’ own “clustering tools,” the firm said.
The Drop Is Still Notable Despite Bitcoin Trading Collapse In 2019
A 70% drop in darknet-associated transactions might appear insignificant as LocalBitcoins experienced a massive decline in the amount of traded Bitcoin (BTC) in 2019. As such, weekly Bitcoin trading volumes on the exchange collapsed from nearly 14,000 BTC in January 2019 to about 4,000 BTC in January 2020, according to data from Coin Dance.
However, between September 2019 and May 2020, LocalBitcoins saw just a 20% decline in BTC trading volumes, down from an average of 5,000 BTC to 4,000 BTC in weekly trading.
LocalBitcoins Says It Is Seeing Healthy Growth In Recent Months
Alongside the apparent progress in tackling illicit transactions on its platform, LocalBitcoins has been seeing some uptick in performance, Blomberg said. “Looking at the last 2-3 months, we can already see a healthy growth trend and it is happening across all regions once again indicating a wide demand,” the exec added.
LocalBitcoins said that their new customer registrations have surged over 50% since early 2020 — from around 4,000 new daily sign-ups to over 6,000. “The rapidly growing new customer numbers naturally are a sign of a healthy demand and great future potential for LocalBitcoins,” Blomberg noted.
Analysts Say That Localbitcoins Is A Major Spot For Illicit Transactions
Some crypto analysts maintain that the LocalBitcoins facilitates a large number of illicit financial transactions.
According to a recent report by CipherTrace, LocalBitcoins received over 99% of criminal funds among Finnish exchanges in the first five months of 2020. The firm also says that Finnish exchanges have the highest share of criminal BTC received for the third year in a row, with 12% of all BTC coming directly from criminal sources.
Earlier in 2020, threat intelligence firm IntSights released another report claiming that P2P platforms like LocalBitcoins are contributing to money laundering. The startup elaborated that such illicit activities are often associated with significant lack of regulations.
As a Finnish company, LocalBitcoins only works with Finnish authorities in regard to cryptocurrency regulations, Blomberg said.
Last year, LocalBitcoins said that Finland was actively working with new legislation amending its Anti-Money Laundering act in accordance with the European Union’s AML regulations.
Major P2P Crypto Platform Localbitcoins Is Blocked In Russia
LocalBitcoins’ website has been blacklisted in one of its key markets.
LocalBitcoins, a major peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange, is no longer available in Russia without using additional tools like a VPN.
LocalBitcoins.net is officially blacklisted in Russia as local telecom regulator Roskomnadzor placed the URL on a register of platforms disseminating prohibited information.
According to official data, the website was blacklisted on July 21, following an order of the Onezhsky City Court of the Arkhangelsk region.
It’s not immediately clear when exactly Roskomnadzor limited the access to LocalBitcoins’ website. Some local reports claim that LocalBitcoins users in Russia began to experience difficulties in accessing the website in late September 2020.
LocalBitcoins has not released an official statement regarding its website being blocked in Russia. The company’s executives have not immediately responded to Cointelegraph’s request to comment on the issue. This article will be updated pending any new information.
As LocalBitcoins is now blacklisted in Russia, the company risks losing one of its core markets. In June 2020, LocalBitcoins executives told Cointelegraph that Russia was the top trading volume market on the platform in April and May 2020.
Alongside handling large amounts of crypto operations coming from Russia, the Finnish crypto exchange has been accused of being a major destination for illicit funds. According to a report by CipherTrace, LocalBitcoins received over 99% of criminal funds among Finnish exchanges in the first five months of 2020. Jukka Blomberg, chief marketing officer at LocalBitcoins, subsequently claimed that darknet-related transactions on the platforum dropped 70% in 2020.
Roskomnadzor recently blacklisted the website of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. Binance officially announced the news on Sept. 24, stating that the site was blacklisted due to the distribution of data related to the acquisition of digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
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