Venezuelans have been relying on cryptocurrencies to save them from their current economic crisis. So much so that, according to VeneBloc, the Venezuelan Bolivar-to-bitcoin market reached an all time high as over $1 million in bolivars were exchanged for bitcoin on April 17 alone.
Strict foreign exchange policies implemented by the government in 2003 started their economic decline. Economic sanctions from the US and UN have further hindered the country from any progress.
Cryptocurrencies provide Venezuelans with access to goods they wouldn’t normally have given their current situation. Last year, co-founder of local exchange Cryptobuyer Jorge Farias explained the benefits crypto transactions had over the ones made in their traditional financial market:
“The transaction takes a few minutes, our fee is three to seven percent lower than the banks, and our exchange rate is regulated by supply and demand, making it more realistic than the official [currency].”
Over the past year, hyperinflation saw prices go up to 8,900%! A crisis that the government sought to address with the creation of their own cryptocurrency, El Petro. Though the national cryptocurrency has just recently bagged the Satoshi Nakamoto award in Russia for its “outstanding contribution to the development of the blockchain industry,” Venezuelans are still choosing bitcoin over it.