One of the things that make cryptocurrencies practical today is during a scenario wherein the economy is dealing with hyperinflation. Countries such as Venezuela found practical application to blockchain technology mainly because of the problem that it is currently encountering.
The Rise of Petro
Venezuela developed its own cryptocurrency called the Petro. And unlike other cryptocurrencies that are based on mere speculation, Petro is quite different. For this cryptocurrency, it is backed by oil. The cryptocurrency has been used not only to be able to transact despite the EU and US sanctions, it was also used to build homes for the homeless and fund other projects.
According to reports, Petro was able to raise $735 million in February. But recently, Petro isn’t the only cryptocurrency that Venezuelans are interested in. Since Venezuela is currently in a crisis, its basic utilities are cheap thanks to its pro-socialist government. That means electricity and water are cheap. And for this reason, there are those who explored cryptocurrency mining in order to bring home dollars in exchange for cryptocurrencies that they have mined. However, it was reported that Venezuela had an attempt to stop the importation of mining hardware.
The Rise of Dash
Aside from Petro and Bitcoin, Dash is establishing itself as a popular cryptocurrency in Venezuela. According to Cryptobuyer which is a Latin American exchange, Dash has been able to surpass the popularity of Bitcoin.
According to its CEO Jorge Farias, “Cryptobuyer was the first platform in Latin America to integrate Dash in early 2017, as well as the first to offer it in Venezuela. Every month, we see how Bitcoin and Dash fight for the top volume in our operations, but as for the largest number of transactions, Dash is winning at this time”.
Dash Public Outreach Director Joel Valenzuela mentioned that “Cryptobuyer has Venezuelan bolivar trading pairs and has user accounts, so they can easily track usage out of the country”.
What makes Dash popular is not only because of the buyers who are looking to invest in Dash. There are also 522 domestic store owners that have adopted the cryptocurrency in the country. Valenzuela mentioned that “The Dash-accepting merchants in Venezuela d so openly and proudly, displaying ‘Dash accepted here’ stickers on their business doors and registers”.
Is Venezuela Anti-Crypto?
Despite close to being an authoritarian regime, Valenzuela mentioned that “it appears to be a misconception that the Venezuelan government is anti-crypto. The country is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, and a way out is a way out. Additionally, local crypto advocates have expressed that the creation of the state-backed Petro has been good for adoption and awareness of other cryptocurrencies”.
It only goes to show that Venezuela may still not have an answer to the crisis that it is experiencing. It has acknowledged the role of cryptos as a substitute for fiat. Though it has been around for quite some time, Dash is leading other cryptos in terms of adoption in the region. Valenzuela said that it “can be traced back to the founding of Dash Caracas and the first Dash conference around September 2017”.