Say what you want about bitcoin—yes, we’re looking at you Miami—but there’s no denying that the popular digital currency will continue to be the go-to safe haven asset amid the deteriorating global economic situation.
Bitcoin’s popularity is on the rise in countries such as Venezuela, whose inflation rate is predicted to soar to 1,640 percent in 2017. According to Bitcoin Magazine, there has been an “explosive” growth for digital currency trading in the South American country following the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast.
But the biggest surprise this week came out of Malaysia.
Several media outlets reported that bitcoin trading in the Asian country is “off the charts” due to the weakening Malaysian ringgit, which dropped over 2.7 percent in the past week. Malaysia-based LocalBitcoins reportedly registered its highest trade volume of more than MYR737,218 (USD181,288) worth of bitcoin. That amount may seem small if compared to the overall volume on the blockchain network, but it’s still a milestone for Malaysia’s cryptocurrency community.
Australian startup founder resigns amid fraud charges
Meanwhile in Australia, Zhenya Tsvetnenko has stepped down from his executive chair position at bitcoin startup DigitalX.
DigitalX, which launched a payments app called Air Pocket, stemmed from a bitcoin mining firm called DigitalBTC.
Tsvetnenko is one of the three parties indicted by the U.S. government for their alleged involvement in a fraudulent text messaging scheme, which signed consumers up for recurring text messages without their consent. The defendants were accused of making money off of the ensuing monthly fees.
Tsvetnenko was slapped with charges of wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in jail.
Current price and daily transaction volume
The price of bitcoin remains steady on Friday, trading at $654.28 with more than $10.35 billion of market capitalization.