The Brazilian government warned on Friday that the country would face a veritable economic collapse within 30 days. In Argentina, authorities are weighing the rejection of their latest debt restructuring proposal, which put the country on the brink of defaulting on its $ 65 billion loan. As the pandemic ravages the two struggling economies and people are turning to safe havens, trading volumes on the LocalBitcoins peer-to-peer encryption platform have risen sharply, Argentina setting a new BTC record .
Coin.dance data tracker reports that a record 50.59 million Argentine pesos was traded against BTC for the week ending May 2, 2020, up 14% from 44.3 million pesos the previous week. The increase represents a 437% year-over-year increase for Bitcoin trading on the P2P platform.
In Brazil, traders on LocalBitcoins traded 2.2 million Brazilian reals for BTC for the week ending May 2, 2020, up 46.6% from 1.5 million reals the previous week, which is the highest level since September 2019.
The increased interest in Bitcoin coincides with dire economic prospects in both countries. Brazil, the continent’s largest economy, is also one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus with 146,894 confirmed cases and 10,017 deaths, according to data compiled by Worldometers.
While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has called the coronavirus “a little flu” and the number of confirmed cases continues to soar, the country’s Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who opposes efforts to slow down the virus in closing businesses, said the current measures are causing irreparable damage.
According to his statement on Thursday,
“In about 30 days, there may start to be shortages on the (store) shelves and production may become disorganized, leading to a system of economic collapse, of social disorder. This is a serious alert. “
Bitcoin’s high volumes also correspond to the fall of the national currency to a record low against the dollar after a drop in central bank rates.
In Argentina, where Bitcoin broke a new commercial record on LocalBitcoins, the government plans to restructure $ 65 billion in debt, mainly due to foreign creditors, derailed and made worse by the coronavirus epidemic.
President Alberto Fernández said his government, already under duress before the pandemic, had few options, reports the New York Times, as the country faces high unemployment and a sinking economy contract up to 6.5% by the end of the year.
As debt matures fast approaching May 22, Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman told Reuters this week that they are working with bondholders to close the gap and reach a resolution .
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