A record breaking half a billion dollars worth of 100,000 bitcoins exchanged hands in Brazil within a 24 hour period according to a local stats site.
The vast majority of trading volumes comes from two exchanges: NegocieCoins and TemBTC. These two exchanges account for 98,000 of the bitcoin trading volumes, with both appearing to be under the same ownership.
A local crypto paper says, according to a rough translation, that there has been an “explosion” of interest in Brazil since the beginning of this month.
“The volume of transactions saw an increase above 500%, rising from around 200 BTC to over 1700 BTC in the Exchequer Bitcoin Market.
In BitcoinTrade, according to founder Daniel Coqueri, trading volumes went from R$ 3 million to R$ 17 million (between 01/04 and 03/04),” they say.
Bitcoin is currently trading at 21,055 Brazilian Real which converts to $5,400. That’s $200 more than the current price on Coinbase.
Suggesting Brazil is seeing a surge in demand as one of the world’s biggest economy and Latin America in general enter the crypto space following hyperinflation in Venezuela.
Brazil has a reasonable level of inflation at 4.5%, but interest rates there are higher at 6.5%, suggesting borrowing money is very costly.
That’s perhaps why they are seeing almost no growth. Just 0.1% this quarter and 0.5% last quarter.
Practically that means the economy is contracting at about 4% as growth is no where near in keeping with inflation.
That could be one reason why bitcoin is apparently becoming popular in the country, with Colombia, Peru, Argentina and of course Venezuela likewise seeing a growing interest in cryptocurrencies.
More widely, there have been a number of announcements from Brazil on implementing blockchain tech.
The Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), for example, piloted last year the tokenization of Real through ethereum’s public blockchain to increase transparency.
While in Mexico they announced they were to hold a public tender on a hybrid private-public ethereum based blockchain.
All indicating awareness is significantly growing in Latin America, with bitcoin now seeing some considerable volumes in the continent.