Gold rabbits and crypto Venezuela strange

Inflation may hit the million percent mark this year and 2.3 million people have fled the country, becoming economic refugees.

The government of Nicolás Maduro has responded with a series of policies, some of them highly unorthodox, to try to deal with what is arguably the worst economic crisis of the decade. From an oil-backed digital currency to urban agriculture projects that include raising rabbits and chickens at home, the Caracas government has not lacked in creativity, raising more than $ 20bn (£ 15bn) this year).

The goal of an ICO is to raise funds to create a new digital asset, such as a cryptocurrency. Some of them are attractive because high volatility in their exchange rates can produce large returns. In February, the Venezuelan government said it raised $ 735 million with the launch of the “petro,” claiming it was the world’s first virtual currency issued by a sovereign nation. .

If that number is true, the petro ICO would have been the fourth largest in the world in 2018. But the government’s claims are hard to verify. through initial cryptocurrency coin offerings. (ICO), according to the UK-based portal Coinschedule. In the world of cryptocurrencies, very few trust the official information published about the petro so far. would soon be introduced into international trade.

 

“The reaction from the crypto community has been a mixture of stupefaction and anger,” says Alex Tapscott of the Blockchain Research Institute. “The government says every unit of the petro is backed by oil,” says Tapscott. “But we don’t have any proof. There is very little technical information on this. Recently, Maduro announced that Venezuela’s revamped currency would be pegged to the petro and that the cryptocurrency

The BBC requested more information from the Venezuelan Superintendency of Cryptoactives, but received no response. Tapscott says the government’s attempt to launch its own cryptocurrency is overshadowing a more significant shift in Venezuela’s economy: the rise of Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. The country claims to have the fourth largest gold mine in the world.

According to statistics website Coin Dance, weekly bitcoin trading in bolivars has increased 58-fold since the beginning of this year as people searched for new ways to store value amid rising inflation. Oil is not the only abundant resource in Venezuela. although currently Venezuela is not even on the list of the top ten gold producing nations . It is the government of Venezuela, not the international markets.

Earlier this month, the government launched its Savings in Gold program, which allows Venezuelans to buy certificates that entitle them to 1.5g or 2.5g gold bars. As with the petro, economists say that the entire system depends on the credibility of the government. that sets the price of gold in sovereign bolivars. So, Venezuelans participating in the program are buying the word of their government.

 

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