Being in control of your own money via Bitcoin has always had its perks, but its now a vital lifeline for many—as Carlos has learned.
What could a suitcase full of cash buy you? In Venezuela, next to nothing.
The country’s economy has been ravaged by hyperinflation for years, and today people are left struggling to afford a loaf of bread—let alone a full grocery shop.
Bolívars: A crumbling currency
Quickly scouring bleak supermarket shelves, Carlos was well aware that the bolívars (Venezuela’s currency) in his hand were losing value by the minute.
By the end of 2018, the country’s annual inflation rate had hit a dizzying 80,000%. Now, in early 2019, that figure has more than doubled.
Eager not to lose his money and let his family go hungry, Carlos hastily handed it over to buy the only edible thing in sight: cheese.
But, as the purchasing power of bolívars plummets, even suitcases full of cash can buy just meager amounts of food.
It’s clear that a more stable currency is urgently needed.
Bitcoin: A much-needed permissionless alternative
Fiat currencies only function if governments are cautious and fair. When they fail, the country is thrown into economic crisis and many people remain impoverished and unbanked.
Worse still, when such economic crisis occurs, currency controls often tighten meaning people like Carlos can’t open bank accounts to access alternative currencies, such as U.S. dollars.
This is where Bitcoin comes in. As a decentralized cryptocurrency, it gives people an alternative to fiat currencies—one that doesn’t require any government permission to use.
So, rather than being forced to use a fiat currency that’s being crushed by hyperinflation, during economic crisis, people can take their savings into their own hands by storing it in Bitcoin.
Carlos, for instance, stores his money in Bitcoin instead of bolívars, only exchanging it when he needs cash to buy food or other supplies. That way, his savings are much more stable.
When control really counts
As we’ve explored, beneath perks like super-fast transactions and no bank fees, Bitcoin has a greater potential: it can improve the lives of those in economic turmoil.
In these instances, it becomes very clear that controlling your own money through Bitcoin is exceptionally empowering.
In fact, as more people realize this potential after feeling the growing pressure of hyperinflation, the demand for a borderless currency like Bitcoin will only increase.
Bringing Bitcoin to those in crisis
At Bitcoin.com, we’re trying to support those affected by Venezuela’s crisis.
Going a step further than just using Bitcoin as a store of value, we help merchants to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payments from their customers.
This lets people like Carlos spend their money without ever having to change it into bolívars. Plus, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) transactions are reliable, complete in seconds, and cost less than a cent, making them affordable for everyone.
We also support other causes such as EatBCH, a charity which works as a cash-to-food system. To find out more and donate, please visit Bitcoin in Venezuela.