HAVANA TIMES – There is a new entertainment in the atmosphere here in Venezuela: the cryptocurrency. To be more exact, the petrocurrency.
The Maduro government has created a cryptocurrency backed by the country’s dwindling oil reserves, and the gold they will extracted from the Orinoco Mining Belt. Or rather the gold that the transnationals will allow Venezuela to use, because for those who are aware of the matters pertaining to the Mining Belt, it is not a secret that most of what’s extracted will be removed from the country by these transnationals.
Who will trust this Venezuelan digital currency? In the midst of hyperinflation and increasing social instability, will anyone risk making financial deals with this government?
They boast of being pioneers by backing a cryptocurrency for the first time with raw materials. They boast that now they will bring death to the dolartoday website [that reports the different exchange rates of the bolivar, official and on the street], that is more or less like boasting of painting the wind.
But they don’t say that the page they opened to make the registration effective was already hacked … that’s the security of this cryptocurrency.
Maduro insists on faking some kind of knowledge, and plans that at some point the petro will be a public and circulating currency (to alleviate the very serious problem of cash and the lack of efficiency at retail sales points).
Meanwhile, people on the street start to protest and assault food trucks that appear on the roads, or raid haciendas and small farms with animal breeding. Others sell their homes or gather what they can to pay for a passage to anywhere. Most of us try to survive based on the egg.
The egg is the true currency of ordinary Venezuelans. It was a good joke on the social networks when people discovered that one day of minimum wage was not enough to pay for a single egg. But better yet was the man who didn’t have cash to grab a taxi after making a purchase at a food fair.
Overwhelmed by the weight, he asked a taxi driver how many bolivars he would charge for taking him home. Ten thousand bolivars, in cash of course. Ten thousand bolivars is the maximum allowed by banks to withdraw daily and the gentleman did not have them. So he made a very quick calculation, the egg carton of 30 units cost 300,000 bolivars. Each egg then has a cost of 10,000. He then offered an egg to the taxi driver in exchange for the raid and he, without hesitation, accepted.
I cannot assure that the anecdote is real, but it has all the basis to be it. The egg has become one of the few sources of protein that Venezuelans have. The price of meat, beans and dairy products is almost inaccessible for those who have only a minimum wage. In spite of that, the price of the egg becomes, every day, more unattainable. At the end of last year the carton went for 60,000 bolivars, in less than a month it now exceeds 300,000, which is nearly half of the salary for a month of work.
With all these details, who’s thinking about a type of currency that is barely known among ordinary people? Instead, buying several egg cartons will give you a guaranteed savings plan.