I came back to my country (Venezuela) to visit my parents and do some diligences, to see how the monetary reality is still wrecked.

This morning, after a long night of partying, I withdraw cash and got 25 individual bank notes worth 200.000 bolivares each, for a total of 5.000.000 bolivares, which are the equivalent to 1 USD, yes ONE united states dollar.

That's the maximum amount I can withdraw from ATMs that belong to other banks than the one I'm affiliated, but it stills surprise me that such a low amount is the max. permitted.

So... now you need to take note on something: last year the government made a monetary conversion deleting 6 zeroes out of the coin, which means that 5 million bolivares are now expressed as 5 bolivares (VES), and the 200.000 tender notes are worth 0,2 bolivares.

That being said, and as people are doing more and more trades valued in USD on what it would be a de facto dollarization, merchants are not accepting this kind of small and old bills no more, so to get back to my home I had to pay the bus with an electronic bank transfer for 1 USD or 5 bolivares.

On one side, it seem absurd to me why anyone would do such a complicated process for such a small amount, but at the same time, bank industry have found a way to make reliable payment applications that allow this to happens in the middle of a crisis.

It's clear to me now that in Venezuela, you need to be prepared with as many payments methods as possible to go out and survive in the streets, while Bitcoin remains a niche option, but still a powerful tool and gateway to sort of censorship and run hiperinflation.

Thanks for reading! You can see a photo of the bills I withdraw from the ATM in the next tweet. Comments, Likes, RT and sats will be appreciated ;)



1 sats \ 1 replies \ @jp 30 May

Are private merchants still accepting bolivars or are they requiring payment in USD?

When paying for public transportation how was it confirmed that payment settled?

Merchants accept both bolivars, mostly electronic, and USD dollars. The payment was confirmed by a receipt I generate and SMS received by the bus driver, sent by his bank.