As Venezuelans have struggled to survive the pandemic during times of dictatorship, the crypto company Circle collaborated last year with the countries’ opposition to financially aid healthcare workers who were abandoned to a broken-down system with almost no proper medical equipment and a discouraging $15 a month salary.
Today $1 equals 45,000,000,000,000,000 bolivars –although it has been devalued to look like 4,5 VES–, a cipher too large to comprehend, much like the general panorama. The basic food basket is calculated over $300 a month, but the minimum wage is roughly $7, and last year many doctors were making as much a $15 a month.
Financial Times published a report where they describe the methods used by the interim president to bypass the Maduro regime’s tight grip that would not allow citizens to receive any type of external aid.
As Gideon Long’s report remembers, the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela had made the situation worse for its citizens with the state funds frozen in U.S bank accounts, but the politicians who oppose the government –with Guaidó recognized by Washington as Venezuela’s legitimate president– found leverage in that by managing to access the accounts after convincing the US Treasury of doing so.
But how would they get the money to the health carers’ hands if the government was extremely against it? Legitimized or not, Venezuela is still under Maduro’s control, so the banks were not a possibility, but stablecoins were. During the bumpy road, the crypto era opened a pathway that wouldn’t have been there a decade ago.