One of the major criticisms of Bitcoin is that it has been around for 10 years and the only people using it are traders who speculate on the future price. Moreover, they argue that fiat currencies will always be better than Bitcoin because Bitcoin’s price varies greatly each day and even each hour.
However, a recent article in the New York Times provides an interesting insight as to how Bitcoin can be used as a peer-to-peer currency that is better than the fiat system- and saving lives.
‘cryptocurrencies have saved our family’
Venezuela is a country that is going through economic and political upheaval. They currently have 2 presidents and their fiat currency, the Bolivar, has been experiencing hyperinflation. In 2018 alone inflation was recorded as 1.37 million percent.
Carlos Hernández states that because of this ‘I keep all of my money in Bitcoin. Keeping it in Bolívars would be financial suicide’. He uses Bitcoins to cover all his household expenses and support his mother and father. Also, he was able to help his brother escape from Venezuela using cryptocurrencies.
His brother who was working as a graphic designer tried to be paid through PayPal. However, Venezuelan banks only accept the local currency, so he had to turn to cryptocurrencies to get paid.
By using the cryptocurrencies his brother was able to save enough money to leave Venezuela. The Venezuelan military at the boarder have a reputation of taking money from those wanting to leave. However, Carlos’ brother had his savings in Bitcoin and he had memorised the password to his wallet so there was no way to confiscate his money.
‘Borderless money is more than a buzzword for those of us who live in a collapsing economy and a collapsing dictatorship’
He now sends money home using Bitcoin to help his family. Carolos then changes it using localbitcoins.com into Bolivars when he needs it. He explains that he must be cautious not to exchange too much as any deposit into his bank over $50 in value ‘will automatically freeze your account until you can explain to your bank where the funds come from.’
This account provides a direct insight into the power of Bitcoin to help people to escape from oppression and survive in a country where the fiat system has failed, and people are in desperate need of help.
Image Source: “Pixabay