The situation in Venezuela keeps getting worse, the economy is badly affected and this family has turned to cryptocurrency just in time. A local bitcoin user explains how Bitcoin has helped his family survive the ongoing crisis.
Carlos Hernandez is a Venezuelan living in Ciudad Guayana who told his story to the New York Times on Saturday about how Bitcoin has continuously been saving his family from going homeless. He explained his helplessness by telling that Venezuela has a lot of currency controls, “there’s no easy way for me to use a conventional foreign currency like American dollars.”
Bitcoin has enabled him to cover his household expenses on his own while his father is a government employee, earns $6 a month whereas his mom is a stay-at-home mother with no income.
His brother, Juan, also navigates through his daily expenses using bitcoin. He is a 28-year old lawyer who became a freelancer because as Venezuela goes poor, so does his clients. His brother had to “turn to cryptocurrencies to get paid” because he couldn’t receive the payment through PayPal due to the strict currency policies in Venezuela. Moreover, it also allowed him to move his money when he was moving to Columbia. They weren’t able to seize all his money when he was crossing the border.
“Venezuelan military personnel at the borders have a reputation for seizing the money of people who want to leave,” Hernández exclaimed.
A Day in Hernandez’s Life
To buy his everyday use items like milk, eggs, etc, Hernandez explained cryptocurrencies first must be converted into Bolivars. He uses Localbitcoins to find people who use the same bank as he does and then he simply wire transfers them immediately.
He added how he cannot convert too many Bitcoins all at once. Though the government doesn’t monitor cryptocurrencies but they do keep an eye on transactions in Bolivars so any worth of $50 or more will automatically freeze your account until you prove where it came from.
Localbitcoin has used by many and it is a popular platform for Venezuelans. Another international exchange that they make use of is Paxful.
Yeap, charities also have to rely on bitcoin to get funds from across the border. One such charity is even NAMED Bitcoin Venezuela, a non-profit organization that uses bitcoin to raise funds to help Venezuelans while offering basic education economics.
Last year for Children’s Day, the non-profit humanitarian Bitcoin-based project collected bitcoin donations from Paxful and others. It then gave food to a soup kitchen that feeds 1,500 people daily, two orphanages, and distributed 200 meals to people on the street.
Venezuela is saved by the Bitcoin but are you?