Venezuela’s government is still attempting to halt the march of Bitcoin in the country as its successes stand in stark contrast to the country’s rampaging hyperinflation.
The issuance of the Petro national cryptocurrency in February, designed to be a sanction breaker, has done little to help the beleaguered county in its fight against inflation which is predicted to reach 13,000% this year.
Hyperinflation is rampant in Venezuela as Bitcoin trading volume keeps hitting new records each week. Meanwhile, authorities are scratching their heads on how to rein in the burgeoning, albeit underground industry, including attempts to crackdown on the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment, writes Inside Bitcoin.
Under its controversial president, Nicolas Maduro, the country continues to struggle with a hyperinflation rate estimated at 2,400% at the end of 2017, which has skyrocketed to 18,000% in 2018. The crumbling economy is now causing a humanitarian crisis with 600,000 Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring Columbia alone.
Venezuela’s crisis has steadily worsened as a result of lower oil prices, corruption, and a mismanaged socialist system, experiencing all but a total collapse of the economy, public services, security, and healthcare.
In contrast, the underground trading of Bitcoin, which has recently shown a massive rise in trading volume, and those involved in illegal mining continue to increase in number, although the government is doing its best to frustrate those attempting the mine the currency.
Venezuelan news source Noticiero Digital recently reported that the government has begun to introduce bans on computers, mobile phones, and processors and any electronic equipment that could have any mining potential. Further to this, the government has said it will be banning the importation of mining equipment in an attempt to curb Bitcoin mining.
One Reddit commentator illustrates the current plight of Venezuelans hopelessly dealing with fiat currency:
“…we have basically become a cashless society because to pay for a meal in cash you need bags full of cash and the government just can’t keep up and print enough because the paper is worth a lot more than the bills themselves. Our highest denomination bill (which is VERY hard to find) can buy you about 4-5 letter-sized sheets of paper and the rest of the bills are worth less than 1 sheet of paper”.
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