Inflation has reached such an epic level that the Banco Central de Venezuela has printed more new notes with significantly fewer zeros. According to an official statement issued last week, the government has printed new banknotes with denominations of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolivars. The new bills are said to have “the goal of making the payment system more efficient and facilitating business”.
According to a Venezuelan-language posting on Reddit, the new notes have already been devalued.
During the currency reform last year, the state announced the introduction of a new, newly named Bolivar with five zeros less. The “sovereign Bolivar” or Bolivar Soberano (VES) replaced the super-inflated “strong Bolivar”, Bolivar Fuerte (VEF), who in 2008 had replaced the original currency himself by removing three zeros.display
President Maduro claims that the new VES currency would be supported by the state-issued digital oil coin Petro. The economic conditions in Venezuela have continued to get out of hand with the escalation of political conflicts. According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation is expected to reach 10 million percent this year.
The Financial Times reports that the number of people fleeing the country could reach 8 million by the end of next year, making it the largest exodus in recent years in the world.
If a government-manipulated currency loses value, people have to look elsewhere to survive. Bitcoin would be the salvaging solution in this case, and according to Coin Dance, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to it. Volumes have hit historic highs of over $ 45 billion in the last few weeks as Bitcoin hit new highs for fifteen months.
The Venezuelans are not the only ones who consider Bitcoin as a protection against economic oppression – also in Russia, China, Iran and Turkey one recognized the value of the cryptocurrency. People are slowly waking up and realizing that Bitcoin is a viable and secure alternative.