Illustration: ModoGráfico

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?

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42 COMMENTS

  1. But a crypto currency economy is dependent on computers (as small as a smart phone), which require electricity and networking.

    You could get solar charged batteries to power the computers for a little while.

    The network, which is the mobile cellular wireless system, plus the Internet, is problematic. The network requires power. More than a local solar cell can provide. How will exchanges work when there is no way for the computers to talk?

  2. @Carlos:

    I think its a great idea… I worry about implementation. How are the average Juan and Maria going to

    A. find out about it, and
    B. get it done?

    I feel like I’m relatively savvy (for a 54 year old), and am connected digitally… but people like my own mother (for example), and my wife’s older family? They don’t live in Venezuela anymore and they have friends who would help and they still might struggle. I fear that people in Venezuela don’t have those resources. And the rural folk? Ouch!

    The (obvious) downside is that Chavismo will ACTIVELY not allow it to work if they don’t get a cut. So if “crypto” does start to become a thing, you can be assured it won’t be a thing long.

  3. Without doubt, most cryptos are much better than the bolivar but they are not a panacea. To all who use cryptos for savings and buying please keep in mind that cryptos are fiat, volatile, artificial commodities (not currencies) with zero scrap value, regardless of the ability to solve some short term problems.

    Venezuela (and every nation) needs a stable sovereign currency and public policies to protect it. At best, cryptos serve as interim media of exchange.

  4. “Venezuela is quickly turning—by design—into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. ”

    Inspiring.

    Well, to be fair, it was a spiritual, mental, and educational Wasteland way before Chavismo landed, but that’s just another Pueblo-People story.

    • Crypto-Klepto Pueblo Clueless Masses.
      Sounds about right.

      Let’s count on the MUDcrap and Capriles to educate the ignorant/corrupt Kleptozuelan Indians)

    • Kleptozuela was a pre-apocalyptic mental wasteland wayyyyy before Chavismo’s crap was applauded and reinforced, decade after decade, by the clueless, corrupt masses. If you get my drift.

    • Thus, the Kleptozuelan Pueblo-people Wasteland will not change until the Indians are corrected, and educated.
      Harnessed, if you prefer, while they are educated and incorporated later on into the economy.

      But that takes FORCE. No MUDcrap will do it.
      So prepare to welcome the Tropical China-Cuba-Chavezuelan Wasteland glorious anniversary in 2050.

      Enjoy.

      • “Thus, the Kleptozuelan Pueblo-people Wasteland will not change until the Indians are corrected, and educated.”

        Yes, the root problem is a culture of envy, disrespect for the rule of law and disrespect for others’ rights. Mestizo culture is an unholy melding of Spanish and indigenous cultures. Political correctness protects and entrenches mestizo culture.

        • Many people will hate you for saying what you just said. Unfortunately you are absolutely correct.

          Political correctness protects and entrenches similar cultures the world over, including the inner cities of the USA.

  5. “Bringing Crypto To The Masses” doubtfully will happen (a few million Chinese notwithstanding) for many reasons. The vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t have the infrastructure (electricity/internet/many times even mobile phones), much less the technical savvy, to make it happen. A crypto-currency is not a store of value, nor is it backed up by the faith in a conservative/responsible guarantor, but is a speculatively-traded fluctuating digital notation that even can disappear by hacking, as Microsoft co-founder Wozniak found out to his chagrin. Crypto-currencies are of infinite potential supply, but finite demand, so much so that 90%/+ of the 1000 or so created to date are today worth nothing/next-to-nothing. Central banks MAY someday use their own blockchain technology for bank-to-bank transfers, if they can solve the hacking/secrecy problem, but they wont use any pre-existing crypto-currency to do so. The relatively few successful cryptocurrencies still existing are the tip of a massive world central bank speculative credit-creation bubble, which is in the process of bursting (prediction: when crypto-currency standard BITC breaks 6000, it will probably drop to 2000/lower). Put your money in something relatively solid (US$/gold) if you want to try to preserve capital/value, read up on famous speculative bubbles of history (tulips/et.al.), because those who ignore/don’t know history, are doomed to repeat it.

    • That’s why the Klepto-Crypto-Crap works perfectly among clueless Kleptozuelan Pueblo-people corrupt Indians. They have zero clue about it, but they hope to steal something out of it. From top to bottom (some of the top mega-thieves are slightly educated, mind you)

    • “The vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t have the infrastructure (electricity/internet/many times even mobile phones), much less the technical savvy, to make it happen.”

      Spot-on Net. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t show up asking to use my woman’s phone to make a transfer because their phone cratered and they can’t find or afford a new one.

      Like everything else in this country right now, ever segment of the economy gets smaller with each passing day.

  6. Bitcoin transaction fees are high, in fact this is one of the big arguments AGAINST bitcoin. Is there a way to minimize transaction fees, such as transferring to another user in your same exchange?

  7. Crypto-currencies are made without any economic support, that’s why it’s been such a disaster for many ”investors”. Only a few made money then they left over a few to Venezuelan.

    These crypto-currencies once subject to regulations and transactions becoming fully traceable and transparent, will not help people launder money such as the writer of this article, or drug dealers, etc.

    By the way, the writer can do what he describes because of the Venezuelan government clear interest to keep internet access free (no that it cost nothing). And the writer thinks his internet in Venezuela is also ”free” of control by the government.

    You’re one more Venezuela scammer and totally disingenuous.

    Shame on you.

  8. proof of what? He’s the one that started this discussion. Are you a true investor in Bitcoin for instance? Show me the money trial.

  9. A week ago we visited Stepdaughter #2 in Pta La Cruz. When we entered her apartment, there was this rather loud and distinctive whirling noise coming from an upstairs landing. I asked about it and she said it was a crypto data mining machine. Apparently her boyfriend has a dozen or so of these gizmos and is mining crypto currency in his spare time. There was only one located at her place.

    The unit costs about $1200, uses 220 electrical, and gives off quite a bit of heat aside from the noise. IIRC, he told me that at the usual local internet speed for the area, each machine makes something over $100 per month. Decent money for someone in Venezuela, but if you had to pay for electricity, or if you have a lot of internet problems, not such a great investment in my humble opinion.

    • Power is free and this doesn’t help the country development. They live, with all due respect, in a Mikey Mouse world. And again using a free Venezuelan resource for the purpose of making some fantasy currency outside the Venezuelan territory. Internet is free too. But they ought to live. That’s for sure.

  10. Just remember you all: you’re perseverating a hideous system where living in Venezuela means using some type of resources outside the territory, therefore perpetuating an unbreakable cycle. As the time goes by, there are two sorts of society: those who ”live” the good life of the 25th century because they pay ONE (1) DOLLAR A MONTH to get a 4G connection from your worse enemy: Chavez/Madurismo.

    Then the writer thinks he has a genuinely genius idea (sorry for the pleonasm). He’s saying I discovered the water is wet, the wheels are round, etc.

    Meanwhile, I’d like him to propose his genius idea to those who live in a ”ranchito” in Petare. Or a ”pata en el suelo” living in the countryside. I’ll be amused to see those leftover of the Venezuelan society living yet in the 15th century trading in crypto-currencies.
    Please give me a break.

    • Oh yeah, we’re living the good life getting that 4G connection from our worst enemy for ONE (1) DOLLAR A MONTH.

      Of course, there’s no food on the store shelves, no medicines at the pharmacy, no spare tires, no spare parts, often no electricity, the roads have turned to shit, leave your home alone for too many hours and every single thing you own is stolen by your neighbors, and if you have a life-threatening illness, well, you probably die.

      But god dammit, we got that 4G connection for ONE (1) DOLLAR A MONTH from our worst enemy, so it’s all good.

      • If you’re lucky, it’s 1G, or less, and then by pen drive, to a Movistar satellite, frequently cutting service due to clouds/rain/electricity outages to antennas; the fiber-optic cables for cheap CANTV internet service are often stolen/not replaced by CANTV due to their high imported cost.

  11. Dear friends,
    I do not propose you to buy crypto, but to get it for free. Yes, you herd me well, there are ways to get free cryptocurrency as the present without any payment.It happens most frequently when new cryptocurrencies enter the market, than their creators distribute them for advertising purposes. I shall write you in the coming days how you can get cryptocurrencies for free and how you can change them to dollars, but at this moment I propose you to sign at http://altexch.io?ref=253230 and you will get for free cryptocurrency worth 10 dollars.You will get additional 20 dollars in cryptocurrency for every new person you refer to get crytocurrency through this program.

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