Analysis: Russia and Venezuela dominating LocalBitcoins volumes, an intriguing proxy for bitcoin demand

Quick Take

  • LocalBitcoins volumes give a good insight into bitcoin demand in a specific country
  • Coin Dance aggregates LocalBitcoins data but still misses important features such as volumes in USD, demographic breakdown, and weighting by population
  • Russia is dominating LocalBitcoins volumes with 26.5% trailed by Venezuela (12.2%) and the U.S. (11.8%)
  • If LocalBitcoins volumes are indicative, the importance of developing countries in the Bitcoin ecosystem is quickly growing
  • In 2013, 90% of all volume was coming from the U.S., UK, and Australia. Now, the three share a mere 19%

While the amount of bitcoin activity can be easily learned by looking at numerous data sources, learning the where can be more challenging. Online exchanges, home to the large majority of all cryptocurrencies are traded, do not publish country-specific data. Fortunately, though, there is a good proxy for geographic information: LocalBitcoins, the most popular peer-to-peer exchange and escrow service.