Bitcoin Volume Surges in Mexico After Trump Threatens Remittance Payments
Since United States President Donald Trump threatened remittance payments into Mexico, the volume of bitcoin being traded in that country has spiked. Many believe these two events correlate with each other. Because the bitcoin blockchain is decentralized, unlike fiat currency, no central authority can directly impact peer-to-peer transactions; rather they can only passively disrupt activity by making it difficult or illegal to create a wallet and interact with the distributed ledger.
A remittance payment is one where a foreign worker sends funds to an individual in their home country. According to Billy Bambrough of Forbes, Trump is “weighing a remittance tax on money sent home by people living in the U.S. illegally, potentially making bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more attractive to people as they seek to avoid government monitored channels of sending money across borders.”
Bitcoinist writer Ester Kim was the first to report on information gathered by Coin Dance indicating this surge. Here is a chart which shows this spike in volume. Coin Dance collects their volume data from various peer-to-peer exchanges. In this case, we see reported numbers from the distributed exchange LocalBitcoins.
In the article, Kim notes:
“The period to April 13 was especially successful for Mexico, which set a new all-time trading record of 10.67 million pesos ($568,000). The peak contrasts sharply with the previous week, in which 8.6 million changed hands, and just clipped the previous record of 10.62 million set in March 2018.”
The ability to send funds internationally, both cheaply and efficiently, without needing a bank or money service has always been a use-case of bitcoin. The interference of traditional fiat remittance payments should only accelerate the use of bitcoin here.