In the middle of the most dramatic economical crisis in its history, in 2018, Venezuela launches the controversial Petro, the first digital currency of a country. Meanwhile the low cost of energy pushed the bitcoin mining activities, making it profitable also in homemade format.
Inflation has consumed all the reserves of Venezuelans for years. What they earn today may be worthless tomorrow. According to estimates, inflation rose to an unimaginable 6,500 percent in 2020. Most Venezuelans convert their reserves into dollars, 66% of all transactions now take place in US currency. But cryptocurrencies, as in other hyperinflationary countries like Zimbabwe and Libanon, are also enjoying great popularity. Against hyperinflation, entrepreneurs and the socialist government bet on digital currencies. And many people thus regain some independence.
Chainalysis, a startup that researches blockchain transactions, in a 2020 world report ranked Venezuela third on its Global Crypto Adoption Index, largely due to the high volume of bolivar transactions.
Bolivar operations on Binance's peer-to-peer platform have risen by 75% in the first part of 2020,
Fast food chains Pizza Hut and Church's Chicken as well as some supermarkets are accepting tokens such as bitcoin and dash as payment. Lot of young people are playing Play To Earn (P2E) games, where you can earn some money through NFT technology. And many Venezuelan artists started to use NFT to spread and sell their works.
There is some Bitcoin cash machine in the country and agencies that can change your cryptocurrencies in US dollar cash.
A lot of immigrants people use cryptos to send their money at home. And different western company are paying digital workers with cryptocurrencies.
It’s also important to notice that more than half population in Venezuela have no access to the bank system, but with a simple app they can access to cryptocurrencies.
For many is a way to wash money, for others a step into the future. What is certain is that is one of most active and productive industry in country at the moment that have not a precise political colour. Unfortunately one of a few.