South America

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Latin Americans are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies which many perceive these as a more stable store of value and means of transaction.

In hyperinflation-crippled Venezuela, privacy-focused cryptocurrency Dash is rising in popularity among locals with some 200 merchants signups and thousands of wallet downloads per month.

“We are seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month,” Ryan Taylor, CEO of the Dash Core Group, the US-incorporated company leading the development of the peer-to-peer payment platform and cryptocurrency Dash, told Business Insider in an interview last week. “Earlier this year, Venezuela became our number two market even ahead of China and Russia, which are of course huge into cryptocurrency right now.”

Merchants in Venezuela including brands like Subway and Calvin Klein have signed up to accept Dash in Venezuela, Taylor said.

“Effectively, even if I accept a credit card, three days later when the funds hit my account, it’s worth significantly less in Venezuela than when the authorization went through.

“This is a problem that cryptocurrency can solve. [Dash’s] instant transactions can solve it and the relative stability of our cryptocurrency is better than their fiat currency.”

A recent survey conducted by blockchain and cryptocurrency startup Ripio found that Latin Americans are confident that blockchain technology “will build a more reliable and participatory system” and “change the rules.”

Ripio, formerly Bitpagos, polled 890 Argentina-based customers and found that nearly a quarter of respondents believe blockchain will take over the financial system in five years. Among the key potentials, respondents cited the ability to “make the financial system more accessible to all” and improve financial inclusion in emerging markets, but also “change the way we use money.”

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