Volume of bitcoin trades in Brazil increased rapidly in Brazil since May. Over the last few months, the volume of all bitcoin trades have risen from US$1.65 million to US$2.6 million, showing a 158 percent monthly increase in trading volumes across all exchanges.
According to BaseBit founder Daniel Novy, the majority of bitcoin-related news presented by major news outlets in Brazil is negative and affects the potent Brazilian population that is underbanked and underserved by financial institutions.
Despite the negative image of bitcoin built by the media, many merchants are becoming more open to using bitcoin, due to its low transaction fees and high international exchange rates. With the strict financial regulations in countries like Argentina and Brazil, it is extremely difficult to move the local currency out of the country. Bitcoin in contrast, has a high international exchange rate, allowing merchants to store their income in a liquid currency or asset.
“The problem we have in Brazil is that the only news that becomes mainstream is the bad ones. Bitcoin has a bad reputation here but anyway the merchants are definitely being more opened to it,” said Novy.