Former Goldman Sachs employee turned developer Jonathan Wheeler has plans to help Venezuelans get their hands on Bitcoin via a massive airdrop, according to Zero Hedge.
As reported by Bitcoin News recently, under its controversial president, Nicolas Maduro, the country continues to struggle with a hyperinflation rate which was estimated to have skyrocketed to 18,000% in 2018. 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.
Wheeler wants to help alleviate some of the pains currently suffered by Venezuelan nationals living under this regime, and suggest that sending them Bitcoin will improve their acute everyday problems of survival. The only problem is keeping his plans secret, due to the level of Venezuelan cryptocurrency prohibition, Petro aside, and frequent government crackdowns on lawbreakers.
He sees Bitcoin as the tool to enable Venezuelans access to everyday necessities and has quit his job with Goldman Sachs to put together Azul, the team which he hopes will hope him to achieve his goal.
“To give it the greatest likelihood of success, it has to be done en masse. We’re trying to make this a large-scale collaborative mission to help people suffering from financial tyranny, explained Wheeler.
Since then he has formed a non-profit organization with Morgan Crena called Pale Blue Foundation, whose numbers have grown to a team of 15, including Venezuelan nationals. The focus is on Bitcoin, having decided that Zcash and Dash have had little impact in Venezuela over the years, Crena suggesting that Bitcoin is “built like a tank”.
Apparently, one of the big issues in promoting Bitcoin’s use in the country will be familiarizing the population with how to use it, which as Wheeler illustrates, will need more than just a “leisurely weekend”.
The Pale Blue Foundation is now hoping to partner both the Human Rights Foundation and the UN and is in talks with economists to find out what a new online currency drop will do to the Venezuelan economy. The foundation also has a small team of code developers which Wheeler sees as key, arguing that locals are limited in resources and the kind of hardware needed for running the kind of sophisticated programs that his project would require.
“It’s the people who don’t have those fancy phones that need Bitcoin,” argued Wheeler, who is currently looking for donors. He plans to take the project to other countries undergoing a similar economic and humanitarian crisis if the airdrop is successful in Venezuela.
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