Argentinian crypto exchange Ripio has had a huge surge in users, boasting almost 1 million now as opposed to just 400,000 at the beginning of the year, CoinDesk reported.
“I’ve been with the exchange pretty much from the beginning, and I’ve never seen this kind of growth,” said Chief Brand Officer Juan Mendez, according to CoinDesk. “This is bigger than the 2017 spike on operations and on demand.”
CoinDesk reported that the country’s economic struggles, including large debt obligations and high inflation, were expedited by the pandemic, and all of it drove many Argentinians to seek out new, alternative ways to store money.
The government limited U.S. dollar purchases by citizens, as well, which made crypto more alluring, CoinDesk reported.
In other news, Chinese residents in the city of Suzhou participating in a massive trial of digital yuan performed nearly 20,000 transactions on JD.com in the 24 hours after 8 p.m. on Friday (Dec. 11), according to a report from the Global Times.
Suzhou, located in East China’s Jiangsu Province, is at the frontlines for China’s push to enact a national digital currency. The government conducted a lottery recently in which it gave a total of 20 million yuan in virtual “red packets” spread across numerous residents to spend at various locations, including the Double Twelve shopping festival coming up on Saturday (Dec. 19). The packets given out by the government will be valid through Dec. 27, the Global Times reported.
Meanwhile, Coinme, crypto exchange, and Coinstar have announced in a press release that their number of bitcoin-enabled kiosks nationwide in the U.S. has surpassed 5,000 locations.
The expansion includes 10 new states: Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and Rhode Island, according to the release.
Neil Bergquist, Coinme CEO, said in the release that the new expansions mean “that more Americans than ever now have the power to invest in digital currencies and stake their claim in the future of money — even on a quick trip to the grocery store.”