A recent report states that bitcoin is predominantly used in countries where there are restrictions or in those experiencing financial difficulties.
Analysing the trading volume data on LocalBitcoins, it is clear that there are several countries where the volumes are significantly higher compared to others.
The country with the highest trading volume is Russia, which is certainly not famous for its free market, with about 1,500 BTC traded per week.
In second place, next to the USA, there is Venezuela, with an average of about 500 BTC per week. Venezuela is one of the most restricted and heavily troubled states in the world today.
In China as well, trading volumes are very high, despite the existing ban, with about 400 BTC traded per week. China does not suffer from particular financial problems, but it is still a country with many restrictions.
Probably because of its proximity to Venezuela, the trading volumes in Colombia are also high, with about 300 BTC per week, while in India they reach about 150.
A particular case is the relatively small Hong Kong, where in recent weeks, due to the chaos caused by the clashes between the demonstrators and the local government, volumes have risen to over 170 BTC in a week.
The report monitored bitcoin exchanges for 33 months, starting in 2017, and overall data showed that a total of around 1.6 million BTC were traded during this period.
The conclusion was that bitcoin is used for the most part for legal activities and that the category of countries that use it most is the one in which cryptocurrencies are prohibited or restricted, or with failing economies.
This suggests that bitcoin is moving towards becoming a global currency as it was originally designed and that in several countries it is also being used as a store of value in place of local fiat currencies that are facing a severe crisis.