Cryptos are surging and part of the rally is linked to a rollout of Dash on Venezuelan smartphones

A solider in Venezuela checks his phone. (Getty Images)
  • Cryptocurrencies are rising across the board as Bitcoin pushes back towards $US7,000.
  • Gains among major cryptos have been led by Dash coin, as the cryptocurrency makes a push into Venezuela.
  • Dash CEO Ryan Taylor told Business Insider that user-growth is rising rapidly amid the collapse of Venezeula’s currency, the bolivar.

Cryptocurrencies are having a good week.

There’s been demand across the board and Bitcoin is edging back towards $US7,000 for the first time in three weeks.

While most major coins are pushing higher, specific coins within the larger end of the market have been leading the gains.

Of note: Dash is up more than 20%, China-based NEO is up around 17% and IOTA coin has gained more than 10%.

In particular, recent developments around Dash have grabbed the market’s attention, with the currency making headway as an alternate transactions platform in crisis-ridden Venezuala.

Earlier this morning, Dash spiked to almost $US200 before easing back:


To put those gains into context, it’s been a pretty rough year for Dash, which at one point rose above $US1,000 amid the height of the crypto-craze last December.

Last Monday, Venezuela devalued its currency, the bolivar, by 95% and pegged it to the government’s own oil-linked crypto called the Petro. The country is on track for annual inflation growth of 1,000,000% (not a typo).

Amid the bolivar’s collapse, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to cryptocurrency as a viable payment method and Dash has been at the forefront of that transition.

A Business Insider report last week showed Dash is currently signing up more than 200 vendors a month in Venezuela, including brand names such as Subway and Calvin Klein.

And the latest spike may have been driven by news of a partnership between Dash and the Kripto Mobile Corporation (KRIP), a South American brand of cryptocurrency enabled mobile smartphones.

Dash CEO Ryan Taylor told Business Insider the deal will see monthly user growth rise to 10,000.

“Our partnership with Kripto will put all the components needed to use Dash preloaded into the phones of 10,000 new Venezuelan consumers every month,” Taylor said.

The KRIP phones will have “a Dash wallet to store Dash, services to obtain Dash, and the Bitrefill app to enable spending on various services”.

“This complements the over 1,000 merchants already accepting Dash in Venezuela, and really addresses the chicken and egg problem of attracting both consumers and merchants to our growing ecosystem,” he said.

Elsewhere on crypto markets, IOTA coin — the world’s 10th biggest crypto by market cap — surged by as much as 20% following a report by Japanese IT giant Fujitsu, which said it would be incorporating IOTA’s blockchain technology into its manufacturing supply chain.

Bitcoin and the broader crypto market has treaded water for most of August, after BTC pushed above the $US8,000 mark in late July.

Since then, markets have struggled for traction — which has largely been attributed to the ongoing refusal of US regulators to accept a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

However, the latest developments are evidence that new innovation partnerships are still happening in the sector as the crypto market continues to mature.