Venezuelan Bolivar Continues to Decline on the Black Market; Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin to Escape Devaluation


Bitcoin’s popularity has continued to increase in Venezuela as the black market exchange rate of the bolivar is approaching all-time lows again.

Although the TPTB in Venezuela have attempted to dissuade their countrymen from using the digital currency via a highly-publicized raid of a Bitcoin mining farm in January, in addition to the takedown of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, SurBitcoin, at the beginning of February, Venezuelans have continued to flock to the borderless digital asset through online marketplace, LocalBitcoins.

Last week, tech-savvy Venezuelans bought and sold 17.1 million bolivars (new record) worth of Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins, according to readings from Coin.dance, which charts weekly turnover on LocalBitcoins in different countries.

Activity on LocalBitcoins in Venezuela has been on the rise since September of last year.

In fact, the rise correlates closely with the hyperinflationary crash of the Venezuelan bolivar on the black market. The bolivar began to depreciate very rapidly in September of 2016, hitting an all-time low of 4,587 bolivars per dollar by Dec 1st, 2016.

Bolivar price chart by Venezuelaecon.com

While the black market rate dipped down to 2,500 bolivars by December 17th, the bolivar has traded lower and lower against the dollar since the start of this year. Today, it costs around 4,276 bolivars to obtain one U.S. dollar on the Venezuelan black market.

Venezuelan flag photo by Alejandro Alarcon

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