Amidst tough US sanctions, bolivars have lost all value
Image source: pixabay - ArmyAmber
Venezuela's human rights issues have not been gone unnoticed. Internal political chaos, economic turmoil in a state of dystopia unseen since the last currency collapse that occurred in Zimbabwe during the 2000s. An oil-rich nation under President Maduro's ruling, plagued by shortages of food and medicine, surging malnutrition, disease and crime as reported by The Independent - Ben Chu.
When oil prices were high, Venezuela did well promoting populist social welfare policies, increasing social spending. But after the global oil prices crashed, the oil-dependent economy could not recover from the crisis, resorting to drain their nation's reserves and also led to the hyperinflation of the currency.
To circumvent US-led sanctions of bolivar, Dictator Maduro launched a cryptocurrency named "petro" backed by oil reserves. His propaganda was broadcasted on national television stating:
“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency,” backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, ...[as it] would help Venezuela advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”
Source: Reuters - Alexandra Ulmer
The opposition party in Venezuela discredits "petro" in total entirety.
“It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility,” opposition lawmaker and economist Angel Alvarado told Reuters.
Image source: pixabay - medinaalfaro
The country has cunningly suppressed Bitcoin in the country, its state-owned internet service provider, CANTV, blocked bitcoin-related websites and mining pools, while the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange SurBitcoin was forced to temporarily shut down operations after Banesco bank closed its account. Source: CCN - Francisco Memoria.
Since end of 2017, bolivar to Bitcoin trading have increased tremendously, hoping to preserve their wealth outside the country's dictatorship. Venezuelans turned to peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges such as LocalBitcoins to bypass governmental bans in order to get access to foreign goods. As for the nation's cryptocurrency, petro, the citizens just aren't buying it.
Hyperinflation in the last few days have seen shocking devaluation of bolivars, trading at around 6.7 million VEF per 1 USD on August 17, before suddenly depreciating rapidly to 9.2 million. Source: bitcoinist - Wilma Woo. Trading volumes on LocalBitcoins have surged and data from Coin Dance reported a 20 trillion bolivars in volume.
Image source: pixabay - 12019
Bitcoin Venezuela is an ongoing Bitcoin education resource to aid Venezualans to buy Bitcoin in exchange for good and services. Professionals with skills to offer are also encouraged to seek job opportunities to work outside Venezuela and get paid in Bitcoin, or any other foreign currencies.
While we may be sitting comfortably enjoying our morning coffee and reading articles, a Venezuelan may be struggling to live in a state of poverty or rioting to fight for his rights. It is always easy to rely on our governments on a sunny day. But never get complacent as economic crisis can clearly turn a fiat currency into paper money. Hence to hold on to a private key, knowing that an internationally recognized digital credit system exists, is important for every individual.