Investor Interest in Bitcoin Grows Despite Hardfork Debate and Falling Price

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Despite a recent drop in the price of bitcoin and the debate circulating the potential hardfork, interest in the currency is continuing to grow.

On March 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to reject the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) saw the price of the currency drop below $1,000 from a high of $1,350 in the run-up to the verdict.

Since then the currency has been struggling to achieve its early March high.

Not only that, but the debate surrounding a potential bitcoin hardfork is doing little to help the currency’s price with many investors panic selling in the lead up to a decision.

And yet, even though the start of the week is seeing the price of bitcoin continuing to hover just under the $1,000 mark, data from coin.dance is illustrating that bitcoin volumes have increased in several countries particularly within Venezuela.

According to the data shown, for the week ending on 25 March, 2017, the number of bitcoin switching hands in the country hit a high of 555. This translates to over 22 million Venezuelan bolivars worth of bitcoin trades taking place in the country in the last week. During the previous weeks number of trades, this amounted to 446.

Countries including Argentina, Peru and Brazil are also seeing a rise in cryptocurrency trades, which also happen to be countries that are experiencing a greater push for the digital currency’s adoption.

At the beginning of the year, Argentinian bitcoin wallet, BitPagos, which changed its name to Ripio, raised under $2 million in Series A funding to expand its services into Mexico and Brazil. By doing so, it aims to help those who limited banking facilities or reduced banking history.

No Dent on Chinese Investors

China, too, is enjoying a boost in trades. During the same period, the digital currency changed hands 7,313 times. This amounted to 54 million Chinese yuan – just under $8 million – worth of bitcoin trades.

The week ending the 28 January, 2017 only saw that number adding up to 97 times. This is around the time, though, when major digital currency exchanges in China decided to halt their services after the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) performed ‘on site checks‘ of major exchanges.

Yet, with the PBoC attempting to crack down on digital currency exchanges as it works out regulations for them to prevent money laundering, confidence in the currency remains, which can be seen from last week’s trading volumes.

Even though the currency is currently going through a difficult patch with many factors affecting its price and how it will function in the future, it is still managing to hold on. So much so, that investor appetite has not been swayed in recent weeks.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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