Thousands of Venezuelans began to use virtual currency, such as bitcoin, as the value of the bolivar currency was not even worth it.
Both the poor and the rich convert the bolivar into bitcoin and use bitcoin for anything, ranging from paying doctor consultations, honeymoon, buying motorcycles, to beer.
For example John Villar. Last month, the Venezuelan used bitcoin to buy two plane tickets to Colombia, buy drugs for his wife, and hire the employees of the startup company he founded.
“This is not a political issue, but how to survive,” said Villar, as quoted from news.com.au, Monday (18/12/2017).
Read also: Venezuelan Inflation Skyrockets 4,115 Percent, Bolivar Gets More Unsavailable
Bitcoin transactions made through smartphones aka smart phones. Venezuelans use pages such as LocalBitcoins and Colibit to trade bitcoins using local bank accounts.
Although in developed countries bitcoin is considered a speculative asset, but Venezuelans use it to survive. They buy little bitcoin coins to save.
It is not clear how many Venezuelans use bitcoin. However, the volume of bitcoin trade in the country stood at 1.2 million US dollars in the first week of December 2017.
According to Coin Dance data, the value is much higher than the value of bitcoin transactions in neighboring countries more prosperous Venezuela, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.
“Venezuelans rely on virtual currency,” says Colibit founder Rafael Useche.
Trends in the use of digital currencies are seen in countries where the value of its currency plummets because of the economic crisis and political tensions. Not only in Venezuela, this trend also occurs in Zimbabwe and Ukraine.
Useche said, early bitcoin users in Venezuela are engineers and business leaders. However, later he was surprised by the number of poor people who buy bitcoin in small quantities.
As of Monday morning, the bitcoin value on Bitcoin.co.id’s local page reached Rp 261.3 million. The bitcoin value on the CoinDesk page reaches $ 18,800 or approximately USD 253.8 million.