The global economy is currently facing an enormous shift as many countries are burdened with massive debt, resource shortages, and failing fiat currencies. A lot of banks worldwide are folding while the central banks try to fix markets by printing vast sums of money and lowering interest rates. However, more and more global citizens are finding a hedge from this turbulent economy within bitcoin. Here is a list of four countries to watch as any one of them could spark a significant rush towards the decentralized cryptocurrency.
Also read: Finland’s Central Bank Explores Blockchain Technology
Four Countries That Could Incite Significant Demand for Bitcoin
The African country of Zimbabwe is suffering from economic hardships as leaders continue to fumble around with worthless ideas. Following the year 2000, Zimbabwe’s economy dropped like a rock as the citizens experienced widespread turmoil. From 2003 to 2009 the country experienced hyperinflation as the Zimbabwe dollar became worthless. Since then the country’s citizens use multiple types of national fiat currencies such as the yuan and U.S. dollar.
More recently the Zimbabwe banking system has created new bond notes which local businesses and the general public distrust. The new bond notes which have just recently begun circulating are said to be “incentive” a local told Bitcoin.com. Taedzwa Chikono explained the situation to our publication stating:
The whole nation has been duped again! They say Bond is not money but an incentive awarded to exporters, but it’s funny how the currency introduced primarily to be a means to pay out export incentives hasn’t reached the hands of the exporters and is already being issued to the general populace who aren’t exporters by any measure. The bond is being dispersed from ATMs machines nationwide! A currency is built on confidence and trust not the lies and deception behind this bond note!
Furthermore Bitcoin.com this past month reported on Phillip Haslam, an economist from the region who believes Bitcoin would help the Zimbabwean economy. “We are very excited about bitcoin as a stable currency alternative, explained Haslam. “The thing about bitcoin is once you import it into the country, you don’t have the problem of the currency eroding and perishing like you have with notes. It’s a system that allows for privatized banking. Effectively, the bitcoin system is both a currency and international payments platform.”
Bitcoin adoption within India is on the rise as the country’s demonetization efforts have shaken the economy. Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed high denomination rupees out of circulation. Since then the public has been in shock, and there has been a significant cash crisis within the region. With 500 and 1000 denomination rupees out of the system, India’s officials believe the public and private sector should embrace a cashless society.
India has always been fertile ground for bitcoin use as the country has seen significant growth in adoption over the past two years. Since the rupee ban and following cash crisis, the demand for the cryptocurrency has risen exponentially. Exchanges in India have been reporting over $100-150 USD higher than most global rates. LocalBitcoins’ volumes have nearly doubled in the month of November, and many Indian bitcoin businesses are seeing record numbers of transactions.
The Latin American country of Venezuela is currently going through some hard economic times. Hyperinflation has struck the land as the socialist government’s fiat currency, the bolivar, has become nearly worthless. Citizens of the nation are suffering from food shortages and actually weighing large stacks of bolivars instead of counting the currency. Experts expect the currency’s inflation rate to be over 700% at the end of 2016. However, things have gotten worse as economists believe the inflation rate will be a massive 1500% by next year.
Venezuelan bitcoin adoption has also been on the rise as many are turning to the decentralized cryptocurrency to hedge against inflation. LocalBitcoins’ volumes in Venezuela have been at an all-time high, and other bitcoin businesses are seeing “soaring demand.” Furthermore, Venezuelan residents are also participating in the mining process making a more lucrative living according to a recent editorial by Reason. In the report, many Venezuelans describe how they are creating a sustainable underground economy by resorting to mining bitcoins, sending remittances, and other counter economic methods.
Back in July, Bitcoin.com reported on Turkish residents resorting to bitcoin during the country’s recent military coup. Since then bitcoin adoption in Turkey has been steadily climbing. LocalBitcoins’ volumes have also risen this November exponentially. Most likely the cryptocurrency’s popularity in Turkey is because of the horrible economy due to Turkish bureaucrats monetary failures.
Also the country’s currency the Turkish Lira has lost considerable purchasing power this past year. Recently Turkish President Recep Erdogan has tried to convince residents to convert their hidden foreign currencies back into the Lira. With Turkey’s tumultuous economic times, bitcoin is becoming known as a safe haven and could very well help Turkish citizens.
Many Other Countries and Geopolitical Events Could Also Create More Bitcoin Adoption
Other countries around the world are also trying to overcome economic hardships such as Greece, Spain, Mexico, and many others. And geopolitical events have caused a significant rush towards bitcoin hedging as well. This includes the U.S. election, this summer’s Brexit, and now the upcoming Italian referendum. As world economies falter, bitcoin will be there for global citizens looking for security, anti-censorship, and the ultimate control over their own wealth.
What do you think about turbulent economies sparking interest in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Taedzwa Chikono, and Coin Dance LocalBitcoins Volumes.
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