I don’t have bolivars. Like at all. I also don’t have dollars. I keep everything I have in bitcoin. I exchange just the amount I need to bolivars every single time I need to buy something. Even something as simple as cheese.
It takes me just five minutes.
Knowing how to use cryptocurrency in hyperinflation is more than just a neat trick: it’s a survival skill, and everyone should have it.
Venezuela is quickly turning—by design—into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The government has weaponized the economy against its population. Instead of trying to steer the ship so it doesn’t hit the iceberg, they let it crash to militarize the supply of emergency rafts and floating doors.
The government has weaponized the economy against its population.
Now we’re all sinking. On top of the humanitarian disaster the government has created, they insist in accelerating the destruction of the economy with crazy economic measures:
To solve hyperinflation, they print money to hand out bonuses to anyone with the carnet de la patria —a government-issued ID to administer the few resources left. Just like throwing a box of matches to a fire hoping it will put it out.
Or coming up with the petro (petro!), the chavista crypto hoax, which according to the government is now backed by the country’s oil, gold, iron and diamond reserves. That’s not how any of this works, but try explaining crypto-theory (and philosophy) to a blood thirsty dictatorship.
Anywhere else in the world this sham would have gone away after a couple of months. But the Venezuelan government insists, because the Venezuelan government can do no wrong: they fixed the price of the bolivar to the price of the new petro-thing. And guess what? it’s not working—we have over 250,000% yearly inflation.
Will (real) cryptocurrency save Venezuela from this cocktail of vodka, battery acid and drain cleaner? Hell no! For that, we need a government that actually applies corrective measures to our economy, but crypto, however, can still help a lot of people (like me!) survive.
In many ways, this is textbook hyperinflation, and according to Ye’ Old Hyperinflation Manual, the next step is that the bolivar is going to disappear and something else is going to replace it (e.g. bartering). We’re already seeing a spontaneous dollarization with some items. But the USD isn’t super inclusive. How many Venezuelans have access to a U.S. bank account?
Will (real) cryptocurrency save Venezuela from this cocktail of vodka, battery acid and drain cleaner?
Why not promote alternatives everyone can have access to: Cryptocurrencies aren’t perfect, but they’re at a point where they’re actually very useful for Venezuelans.
Crypto is super simple and safe, but many don’t know it exists. They don’t have the tools. They need instruction, education. That’s the challenge the good people of the Open Money Initiative have taken on through omipedia.org, a wiki in English and Spanish for all things crypto. And since they’ve got their eyes set on Venezuela, we decided to partner with them to help bring crypto to the masses.
Crypto folk are welcome to jump in on Omipedia, create an account, and share their knowledge. The idea is to write el evangelio según crypto, a collaborative effort.
Also, we’re opening this weekly space (#OmiChronicles), to reel you in, talk crypto, and help find solutions for the people in Venezuela. We want to flesh out the challenges of this technology, specific to our country, so developers can adapt their products to our market. This is about giving the people the tools to resist!
So, wanna’ sign up for this economic war too?Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.