Bitcoin investors rejoiced on Wednesday as the price of the most popular cryptocurrency surpassed $13,000 for the first time since 2019.
However, when denominated in weaker national currencies, BTC actually surpassed its previous all-time highs.
In a handful of nations, bitcoin bought at any time in history is now in profit. Rather than highlighting BTC adoption, however, the new all-time highs tell a story of extreme currency devaluation.
Bitcoin at All-Time High in Seven National Currencies
On Oct. 21, news that PayPal will add limited bitcoin support appears to have prompted sudden buying pressure among BTC investors. Since the beginning of October, the leading cryptocurrency has surged by more than 23%, with much of the increase occurring this week.
Despite the recent gains, BTC is still trading around 32% below its current all-time high of almost $20,000. In fact, the bitcoin price remains beneath the near $14,000 highs it set last year.
The US dollar is among the planet’s more stable currencies. However, BTC denominated in weaker currencies tells a very different story.
As highlighted by investor and bitcoin industry observer Alistair Milne, there are several nations in which BTC has already surpassed its December 2017 highs.
Countries where #Bitcoin has hit a new ATH in their local currency:
Brazil – pop. 209million
Turkey – pop. 82m
Argentina – pop. 44.5m
Sudan – pop. 41m
Angola – pop. 30m
Venezuala – pop. 29m
Zambia – pop. 17m
… then all other fiat currencies
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) October 22, 2020
For some of these countries, the December 2017 all-time high had been taken out before Wednesday’s BTC pump. In the Brazilian real, for example, BTC first hit an all-time high in Aug. 2020. In the Turkish lira, a new high came in late July.
With its long history of currency crises, coupled with a strict and ongoing national coronavirus lockdown, BTC has set numerous all-time highs since Dec. 2017 in Argentine pesos. In fact, only the March 2020 crash saw BTC trade below the 2017 high.
The story is similar in the Sudan, Zambia, and Angola. Highs observed in 2017 were taken out on multiple occasions in the years since.
By far the most extreme currency devaluation is still in Venezuela. BTC traded for 3.182 million bolivars (VEF) on Wednesday 22 Oct. Its Dec. 2017 high was 213,641,901 VEF.
Different nations each have their own causes for these massive currency devaluations, and many were already in desperate situations before the start of the year. The ongoing coronavirus crisis has only exacerbated existing issues.
Bitcoin in Venezuela, Sudan, Argentina, Angola, Zambia, Turkey, and Brazil now trade above their respective Dec. 2017 highs by roughly 1 389%, 455%, 199%, 164%, 35%, 33%, and 14%.
Struggling Economies May Represent Centers of Adoption
For citizens of these countries, bitcoin continues to act as a reliable store of value. In other nations like Colombia and Russia, BTC trades close to its all-time high. In Russian rubles and Colombian pesos, BTC is down from its high by only 12% and 15.5% respectively.
Will bitcoin’s outperformance spur greater adoption in the planet’s weakest economies? Milne seems to think so. Perhaps that’s why he includes each nation’s respective populations, a sign of the masses waiting in the wings.