11 March 2020 · 0 min read

Venezuela's Economic Crisis and Bitcoin

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis. For 20 years the country has been governed by the socialist party, led by Hugo Chavez from 1999 until his death in 2013. Following his death, Nicolás Maduro, his preferred successor, took control of the country following a much-disputed election. Under Manduro, the economy and local currency have collapsed, with extreme hyperinflation reaching unprecedented levels. The inflation rate reached 69% in 2014, and by 2018 grew to an astonishing 1,698,488%, leading to significant growth in poverty, hunger and mass migration, with millions leaving the country to find work, food, and medical supplies. With the collapse of the Bolivar, many Bitcoiners asked whether Bitcoin could help. Could Bitcoin reduce the impact of hyperinflation? Could locals mine Bitcoin at low energy costs to earn an income? Popular Bitcoin podcaster and Defiance founder Peter McCormack visited Venezuela to find the answers to some of these questions. Firstly, he headed to Bogota, Colombia, to interview Venezuelan ex-pats and visit the border town of Cucuta, where 10's of thousands cross every day to find work, food and buy basic necessities. Peter has been covering the Venezuela economic and political crisis on his Bitcoin podcast since June 2018.