Venezuela’s financial crisis reaches an astronomical dimension. Hyperinflation rate flies to enormous levels and is predicted by the International Monetary Fund to surge up to 1,000,000% by the end of 2018, according to Reuters’ report. Consumer prices in the country kept elevating to the overwhelming raise with 488,865%, the news portal informs.
President Nicolas Maduro proclaimed a new economic strategy in late 2017, launching a national oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro. It was supposed to go live in months, but the event was scheduled for November 5th, according to the last TV statement the country leader made.
Now, the vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodrigez, declared a governmental decision: all passport fees will be paid only in Petro. The Venezuelan news journal El Universal informs about the payment change, a single passport will cost two Petros, which equals 7,200 Bolivars. The sum is unbearable for the average citizen of the country since it amounts to four minimal monthly wages. The shift makes it impossible for people to leave the republic as it prevents them from civil legitimacy. Bloomberg reports that even flight carriers have stepped back from the country. It is even harder for Venezuelan emigrants – if abroad, they would have to pay $200 USD to issue a new passport and $100 USD to extend a valid document.
According to the last estimated data by the United Nations, 5,000 Venezuelans fly over the country every day. More than 2 million have already left and reside as economic refugees in the neighboring countries mainly, but also in the United States, Brazil, and Spain. A real humanitarian crisis whirls in Latin America – Brazil faces extreme levels of crime and corruption, and Argentina struggles to recover financially, to name a few.
The governmental cryptocurrency Petro will be used also to buy oil with it, became clear earlier this year. The crypto strategy does not come without controversies. Digital assets assessment might be a solution by many experts, but the technology is hard to use by common people. It is dangerous to even use a smartphone on the streets, citizens say because you might get robbed or killed at any point.
Crypto fans critics also go to Petro’s White pages which seem to be too close to the Dash’s, another popular altcoin in Venezuela, after the Bitcoin. The Dash community even marks the Latin-America country as its second biggest market.
Meanwhile, the country is stricken by protests about Fernando Alban’s death. The Venezuelan dissident was from the opposition party and blames go to Maduro’s political team. The UN, the U.S., and Spain urge international powers for a fair, internal investigation in a battle for human rights, Time reports.