It is remarkable to take a look at how the LocalBitcoins volume has evolved in Russia. Even though the country does not have the best of relationships with bitcoin, consumers are growing fond of the cryptocurrency. In fact, the volume on LocalBitcoins has grown spectacularly over the past few years. It will be interesting to see if this trend can continue, though.
Compared to just a few years ago, the LocalBitcoins volume in Russia has exploded. In fact, there was next to no volume back in 2014. Not entirely surprising, considering Russia has been rather hostile towards bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. At one time, it even appeared residents could face jail time for being involved in bitcoin. Thankfully, that proposal was never officially approved by the government.
Russia’s LocalBitcoins Volume Sees Significant Growth
Over the past year or so, LocalBitcoins has welcomed quite a few new Russian bitcoin enthusiasts. With the weekly volume almost growing every single week, Russia is slowly warming up to bitcoin. It is anybody’s guess as to why this is the case, though. Russia seems more keen on alienating its economy from the rest of the world than anything else. Embracing bitcoin, the only global currency in existence seems a bit strange. It is a welcome change nonetheless.
— Tommy Economics (@TommyEconomics) February 16, 2017
Moreover, LocalBitcoins now represents a large portion of the bitcoin trading volume in Russia. Additionally, it seems this marketplace generates nearly half of all the USD volume as well. That is quite a significant development, indicating Russia is showing a growing interest in cryptocurrency right now. Whether or not this trend can be sustained, is a different question, though.
Considering LocalBitcoins is growing in popularity all over the world, it seems to be a matter of time until decentralized exchanges become more mainstream. Centralized exchanges can be targeted by the government and central banks. LocalBitcoins only connects buyers and sellers without holding on to funds. This makes them somewhat “invulnerable” to these whims, even though it is still somewhat of a centralized platform.