According to the news outlets, Venezuela has tumbled into darkness since last week. Such a massive blackout is influencing the country’s economy, to be more specific, its remains. Venezuelan economist, professor Aaron Olmos, shared some thoughts considering crypto and its adoption in the country during his recent interview to Coindesk.
Blackout, Economy, Crypto
Once the wealthiest country in the Latin America now is suffering a devastating blackout which has already caused at least 15 victims. The power plant Guri went down, thus, left millions of Venezuelan without electricity: schools, public transport, airport remain closed since Friday, March 8. The opposition leader, Juan Guaido, plans to announce a “state of alarm” in the National Assembly on March, 11.
Such critical situation is caused by years of power usurpation, corruption, incompetence, and high rates of inflation, which hit 80,000% in 2018. As national currency – Bolivar – became valueless, people started mining and trading crypto, in particular, Bitcoin. In the middle of February, the Bitcoin trading hit all-time high. It has become the only way to feed Venezuelan families. Bitcoin mining requires electricity access. Since the blackout has been continuing for 5 days already, even this way of feeding of taken away.
In 2017, Nicolas Maduro announced creation of national cryptocurrency – Petro. However, no one is quite sure how much it costs, as of 2019, it does not function as currency.
Good Money Vs. Bad Money
The Venezuela’s most famous economist, Aaron Olmos, shared his thoughts on the subject of his country’s current dependency on the US dollar, as well as crypto’s place in Venezuela. He thinks that the current state of economy is a result of poor economic administration, this lead to the fast adoption of crypto, as national currency remains devalued Bolivar.
“We are in a complicated situation because ‘good money’ – dollars or cryptocurrency – is available, but it is scarce because people tend to keep it, not spend it. On the other hand our ‘bad money,’ the Bolivar, it’s the one used by law.”
The economist also pointed out that large bills are limited, whilst small ones are constantly being issued.
“This creates a distortion in the price of goods and services since the production value is now based in dollars in the internal market,” he explains. “Everybody knows it: the Bolivar is our official currency in circulation, but the actual functional currency is the US dollar.”
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