Fast food outlet Church’s Chicken in Venezuela is taking the leap and has begun accepting Dash, the #1 X11 cryptocurrency, and the #16 cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap overall.
In Venezuela, the native fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), is becoming more difficult to use with each passing week. The inflation rate is at 444,000% per year, based on six months of data from the Café Con Leche Index, where someone buys the same cup of coffee at the same shop in Caracas to gauge Venezuelan inflation. Since this data averages in lower inflation rates from months ago, the true inflation rate is already near 1,000,000% per year. This makes it unsurprising that people are ditching the native VES for other more stable currencies.
Dash has not been particularly stable this year relative to the US dollar, nor has any other cryptocurrency been stable in that relation for that matter. However, it compares far more favorably compared to the VES. Accepting bolivar almost guarantees merchants lose value every hour they hold, with a single day’s inflation capable of wiping out profit margins. Citizens have been exchanging VES for goods or other currencies and assets as fast as possible. Merchants like Church’s have been pricing their menu items in US dollars to mitigate inflation risks.
By accepting Dash, Church’s Chicken can now operate with less stress and actually store their money instead of immediately running out the door and exchanging it for other currencies, goods, or assets.
The choice of Dash is interesting, considering that the Petro, the official national cryptocurrency of Venezuela, is supposed to be a Dash clone. The reason the Venezuelan government chose Dash is that it uses masternode technology which makes transactions highly anonymous and therefore useful for circumventing international sanctions. However, all evidence indicates the Petro is not a cryptocurrency, rather it seems to be a non-fungible paper certificate.
The current situation in Venezuela could lead to widespread and permanent cryptocurrency adoption across the South American nation. Some economists believe it offers a glimpse into what would happen in the future if fiat currencies collapsed worldwide.
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