Venezuela’s Crisis Escalates As Locals Turn To Bitcoin, Gaming
They are now turning to cryptocurrencies and gaming for survival.
Bitcoin Becomes A Survival Means In Venezuela
Citizens of Venezuela have been undergoing a rough time following the country’s failing economy. Under the leadership of Nicolas Maduro, the country’s once strong economy has dropped significantly. The situation has forced citizens to turn to other means as a way of survival. Lately, residents have turned to invest in bitcoin and online gaming as a means of raising capital.
With the economic degradation, the country’s local currency the bolivar has been rendered worthless. Locals can no longer afford basic needs such as food. From 2017, about 90% of the population sank into poverty.
Come 2018, the country’s economy has worsened with no signs of improvement. Locals have even started feeding on zoo animals. Data indicates that the country’s inflation now stands at 127%.
Recently, the government introduced the national crypto dubbed the petro. Citizens are being forced to purchase passports using the petro. The crypto is set to be officially released next month. However, questions have been raised on whether the petro really exist. A report by Reuters indicated that there was evidence that the crypto was non-existent. People feel trapped and they see Bitcoin and gaming as the next option available.
Bitcoin and gaming are used to raise some money to purchase food and other basic necessities. Also, residents are venturing into gold farming.
Venezuelans prefer using Runescape and Tibia as the gaming service providers for gold farming. Under gold farming, a player is an MMO uses a big chunk of his time harvesting game assets. The harvested assets are then traded on third party market to other gamers in exchange for fiat and bitcoin. The players earn a few dollars in a day but the money is not sufficient to change their fortunes. Gold farmers are making more money compared to salaried workers since the cash is linked to black market trading rates.
The gaming sector in Venezuela has caught the attention of many. For example on the Runescape platform, there is an ongoing inflation due to high traffic from Venezuela. Additionally, gold farming comes with a number of risks for users.
Gold farming is prohibited under the games and users risk having their accounts closed in case regulators notice. However, they have no alternative since they risk starving. Many projects that gold farming will continue until the country’s economy stabilizes.