Latin America is witnessing an explosion of cryptocurrency usage, but the reasons are both surprising and expected. On the flip side of this, there are restrictive economic policies in some L. American nations that are hampering efforts to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream consciousness. Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil are pushing to adopt Bitcoin and with Bitcoin comes competitors. If Bitcoin does succeed in gaining widespread adoption in these countries, you will see the exact same thing in a kind of chain reaction with many other currencies entering the market. While some cryptocurrencies have already stepped forward to try to become a mainstay in L.America, Bitcoin is definitely having the most success. First of all, a representative microcosm of the nations that are adopting cryptocurrencies is Mexico, which has adopted Bitcoin fairly quickly and fairly well, having opened up a few exchanges with Bitso, MexBT and Volabit. Mexico is among the countries who are beginning to adopt Bitcoin because of an established yet growing distrust of their very own currencies. This paints a bright future for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in L.America. Cryptocurrencies allow citizens of these countries to buy and sell on a global market, trade goods and participate in an ever-changing world economy. Worth noting and extremely intriguing was the adoption of a digital currency that Ecuador rolled out in 2015 to actually support the U.S. dollar there, although it is very different from our cryptocurrencies in that it is centralized and controlled by their government. Since this digital currency operates completely contrary to how most cryptocurrencies operate, it is not of much importance to cryptocurrency except in one major way, that is that this shows that countries in the region are beginning to become interested in modernizing and revolutionizing their financial systems/institutions in favor of more practical and applicable options, which could eventually lead to more widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. This is almost paradoxical considering that the government of Ecuador still maintains a position against the use of cryptocurrencies.
NOW, to discuss the not so great things happening involving cryptocurrency in L.America. There are several nations that simply don't want to discuss, engage in or adopt cryptocurrency, the most stubborn and insistent among these is Bolivia. Bolivia as a matter of fact just arrested 60 advocates of cryptocurrency, as a “reminder” that the use of any currency not controlled by a government or government entity is prohibited. You use cryptocurrency? Great, off to the Gulag! Bullshit, I say, but the point is that there are still stark opponents of cryptocurrency out there and they treat it as an insidious parasite rather than an incredibly progressive system and economic advancement. The Bolivian government even went as far as to say that it is a Ponzi scheme and that by arresting these hooligans that they are doing the Bolivian people a service. Things like this should remind you that all the efforts of people working in cryptocurrency is still seen as villainous in some places around the world and we must continue to fight the good fight. There are nations that need cryptocurrency to survive, like Venezuela, for example, where political instability and oil prices dropping have caused an economic crisis where they have seen their Bolivar lose 99.7% of its value since President Nicolas Maduro was elected. Other nations refuse to admit that widespread cryptocurrency use is forthcoming, like Colombia who outlawed Bitcoin, but still wishes to tax it. That’s the literal equivalent of telling someone they can never ride the subway, but still charging them the price of a ticket for everyday they don’t ride the subway. See? It makes no sense and it’s quite clearly thievery.
There is hope for cryptocurrency in L.America because the usage trends show that people are beginning to want to use cryptocurrency and ARE using cryptocurrency more, regardless of what their government feels on the issue. This is a decentralized currency, and nobody can stop that. Not me, you, hackers, Vitalik Buterin, Satoshi Nakamoto or anybody else. This is happening, we are not afraid and these countries can choose to ride the wave or drown beneath it.