Xapo, one of the main Bitcoin wallet providers as well as Bitcoin merchant began selling the cryptocurrency to the citizens of the economically-depressed Venezuela.
The company has enabled Bitcoin purchases through their website, for now, the minimum amount of bitcoins to be purchased stands at the $50 mark. Taking into account that the minimum wage in Venezuela is hovering the $50 per month mark one can realize that not everyone will be able to use Xapo’s services. However, users will enjoy the security and easy of mind that comes when dealing directly with a multi-million dollar Bitcoin startup can offer.
Xapo has opened a bank account with Banesco, the leading privately-owned Bank in Venezuela (most of the financial institutions were seized and nationalized by the government). Users will be able to send Fiat from any bank in the country to make deposits, a standard fiat wire takes about 1-2 business days to complete in Venezuela.
Venezuela is one of the countries with the highest levels of inflation in the world, so is no wonder that Bitcoin has become a popular tool among tech-savvy citizens to protect themselves from inflation and to enable them to purchase goods –even essential ones like food and toiletries–. The South American country has also been experiencing a surge in Bitcoin volume, and the cryptocurrency is actually being sold at a premium in Venezuela, for about $666 at the time of press.
Venezuelans have now more ways to purchase Bitcoins since startups Cryptobuyer and Yabit (under maintenance due to an alleged email leakage) launched operations. However, up until Xapo began operations in Venezuela the residents of that country only had three consistently Bitcoin markets: LocalBitcoins (which holds the first spot on the volume ranking), Surbitcoin (the oldest Bitcoin exchange, operating since 2014 and second in bitcoin volume), and P2P transactions between trusted members in the local Facebook group or chats.