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About the Episode
Life is not easy in Venezuela. Hyperinflation has resulted in Venezuela’s currency losing 98% of its value against the US dollar. The value of people’s life savings is disintegrating, the minimum wage is worth roughly $5, and many people are even rummaging through the trash for food.
Juan and so many other Venezuelans are turning to mining, trading, and investing in cryptocurrencies as a way to avoid restrictions on holding foreign currencies and a way to survive. Juan even started a business to help people in Venezuela support entire families on the income from just one mining computer.
Bitcoin may be volatile, but in Venezuela it’s much more stable than their alternative, and Juan sees the spread of cryptocurrency as the one positive outcome of the crisis.
Our guest this week does an excellent job of explaining what life is really like on the ground in Venezuela, and how and why the crypto-craze has taken hold in this struggling country. He also shares his thoughts on the Venezuelan government’s recent announcement of their own cryptocurrency, the “petro”.
Check out host Cady Voge’s full piece on crypto as a life line in Venezuela in WIRED magazine: https://www.wired.com/story/where-could-bitcoin-succeed-as-a-currency-in-a-failed-state/
Guest: Juan Pinto
Hosted/Produced by: Cady Voge
About the Host
Cady Voge is a freelance journalist based in Bogotá, Colombia. She writes, produces radio packages, and makes videos about all kinds of topics. In Colombia she’s focused on the recent peace process there, Venezuelan migrants, and really any story highlighting people living life on the fringes of society. She’s also a documentary filmmaker, covering stories like that of an exceptional orphanage in India, and environmental degradation in Mexico. She’s fascinated by bitcoin because of the extraordinary ways that it and other applications of blockchain technology are already changing regular peoples’ lives, and she’s curious about its potential for more disruptive change to all kinds of industries in the future. Is bitcoin really as revolutionary as the invention of the Internet, like people say it is? She’s keen to find out. Follow along each week on Humans of Bitcoin for a chat between Cady and all different kinds of guests, where they’ll discuss the extraordinary stories of change in the time of digital money.