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posted by CoolHand on Monday June 19, @08:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the cyber-rich dept.

Venezuelans flock to BTC, the digital currency as inflation has spiraled to the triple digits, debasing the the venezuelan currency, the bolivar (VEF) and depleting savings. Citizens struggle to find everything from food to medicine on store shelves. Ryan Taylor, chief executive officer of crypto currency Dash Core says "If you're going to be in something volatile, you might as well be in something that's volatile and rising than volatile and falling,". Crypto currency Dash Core is the third-largest digital coin by number of transactions. Bitcoin (BTC) trading volume in Venezuela jumped to 1.3 million US$ this week, about double the amount that changed hands two months ago, according to LocalBitcoins.com.

Venezuela's currency has become nearly worthless in the black market, where it takes more than 6000 bolivars (VEF) to buy 1 US$, while bitcoin surged 53% in May-2017 alone. But it's not just about shielding against the falling bolivar, as some Venezuelans are using crypto currencies to buy and sell everyday goods and services, according to Jorge Farias, the CEO of Cryptobuyer.

For those desiring a faster transaction time the crypto currency Ethereum exists with an average block settling time of 14 seconds since April 2016 according to themerkle.com.

Venezuela has 47e9 m³ in proven oil reserves, more than any other nation in the world. So now the only thing missing is to start the sale of oil using crypto currencies so that a military intervention can be justified..

All this happens while since at least 2014, hundreds of thousands of citizens have protested high levels of criminal violence, corruption, hyperinflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods, arrest of opposition leaders, laws to force citizens to work in agricultural fields and farms for 60 days or longer, 40 inmates dismembered and consumed three fellow inmates, 200 prison riots in Venezuela in 2016 and so on. Tourist hotels probably have an all time low now for that super bargain..


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:14PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:14PM (#528119)

    ... the Venezuelans were rioting in protest of their government giving money to the Trump administration!

  • (Score: 2) by AnonTechie on Monday June 19, @08:16PM (25 children)

    by AnonTechie (2275) on Monday June 19, @08:16PM (#528120) Journal

    Venezuela used to be a wealthy country and had many social welfare programs for the citizens. They have lots oil reserves and as I remember, they had world's lowest price for petrol. How did they manage to screw up so badly that inflation is so high, people are rioting in the streets and the country faces shortages of essential goods ??

    --
    Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:25PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:25PM (#528125)

      Venezuela used to be a wealthy country and had many social welfare programs for the citizens. They have lots oil reserves and as I remember, they had world's lowest price for petrol. How did they manage to screw up so badly that inflation is so high, people are rioting in the streets and the country faces shortages of essential goods ??

      You know the answer... you listed it in your question. Try searching the price of oil back when they were doing well against the price of oil now.

      When your economy is driven in large part by a single good, and that good's value drops in half, it will wreck your economy no matter how perfectly you manage it. No "screw up" required.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:31PM (#528131)

        Why didn't their society diversify its investments? Why did they build their entire society around this one resource, especially a society with heavy-handed socialist handouts? Well, because they organized according to top-down, central planning. When you place the organization of flows of resources into the hands of a cabal, rather than in the hands of self-serving, self-interested individuals spread throughout every strata of society, then you're going to end up with naive decisions based on the tunnel vision of would-be know-it-all "experts".

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AnonTechie on Monday June 19, @08:33PM

        by AnonTechie (2275) on Monday June 19, @08:33PM (#528132) Journal

        Thanks for your response.

        However, I do not think that price of petrol is the ONLY cause. Even now, the Gulf Countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Bahrain) have some of the lowest prices of petrol and most of them are "single good" economies. Are you suggesting that they too will head in the same direction as Venezuela ??

        --
        Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday June 20, @02:09AM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 20, @02:09AM (#528293) Journal

        When your economy is driven in large part by a single good, and that good's value drops in half, it will wreck your economy no matter how perfectly you manage it. No "screw up" required.

        No, that is definitely not the case here.

        A 50% drop in Venezuela's oil income still feeds the whole country, brings in enough food to feed the population, enough spare parts to keep essential infrastructure running. They can't even keep farmers in petrol to keep the fields tilled. Food trucks need military convoy protection.

        Its way past the 50% drop in the price of crude. This is a societal meltdown, its becoming everyone for themselves, secret garden plots in the woods, raiding farm fields.

        In the meantime nobody is quite sure where the money is going, other than to corrupt officials and armed thugs.

        If it gets much worse, I predict another Pol Pot style forced emptying of cities into farm plots (or graves) in the countryside.

         

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 20, @04:27PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday June 20, @04:27PM (#528556) Journal

          This is a societal meltdown, its becoming everyone for themselves, secret garden plots in the woods, raiding farm fields.

          That's the key, there. Societal meltdown can happen anywhere, and it doesn't matter what other sources of wealth you might have. You can be sitting on top of the richest farmland in the world but if the farmers are too busy fighting each other to farm then everyone will starve. If everyone is starving and fighting all the billions squirreled away in secret bank accounts will become more or less worthless. If you're sitting on a stockpile of food and weapons, because everyone is starving and fighting, you will have painted a gigantic target on your back that will lure everyone to attack and attack and wear you down until they can plunder what you have amassed.

          We've seen that dynamic in Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Southern Africa and now a hellhole, and we're seeing it now in Venezuela. We will see it in many other places soon, too.

          That's why the unseen Social Contract that binds us all is so important, and why shredding it through poor policy and malice is so dangerous.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:28PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @08:28PM (#528128)

      It's because central planning DOES NOT WORK!

      Time and again, it's been revealed that societal flows of resources (especially on a global scale) are way too complex to be managed by even a group of would-be experts; it must instead be managed by the decentralized interactions between individuals within a market based around the price mechanism (i.e., allowing people to find the "proper" valuation of a resource through the back-and-forth interaction between disparate buyers and sellers, who usually use a medium of exchange that is called "money").

      Venezuela got rich on quasi-capitalism, and then went full top-down, centrally planned "socialism". It only seemed like it was working, because they were burning through their wealth, just like it seems like you're doing well when you blow through your life savings in a weekend. Asshats.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:02PM (#528654)

        Correct, centralized planning doesn't work. On the flip side, complete market freedom does not work either although the results of the failures are a little different.

        The answer? I'm glad you asked!

        Centralized planning / regulation with a light application the maximizes the market flexibility for businesses. It would be amazing to have a central bureau that collects and analyzes employment stats so that we can plan ahead and inform people about what career paths currently have openings. However, such a bureau should have zero control over the businesses themselves. Regulation is necessary for basically all business, but it should come with bureaucratic costs for the business outside of complying with the regulations. You must pasteurize your milk, follow safety standards, wage laws, and any other such stuff the country deems necessary. You should NOT have to pay for inspections or various licenses. You will have to do the legwork to be compliant, but paying $20,000 for the opportunity to do business? Fuck off! Paying for a business license? Fuck off some more. Submit your paperwork, prove you're a valid business, and get your license.

        A little of both, as seems to always be the answer. So rarely is one extreme path truly the correct and only one.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday June 19, @10:34PM (16 children)

      Socialism, duh. It destroys every nation it touches.

      --
      Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @11:31PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @11:31PM (#528208)

        Socialism, duh. It destroys every nation it touches.

        Yes. Just look at the socialist hellhole that is Sweeden and Norway compared to the libertarian paradises like Somalia.

        Or maybe it's more complicated than single word answers and concepts?

        Nah, I'm sure it's just socialism, heavy-handed government, and the oppressive state willing to rob (i.e. "wealth redistribution") the rich of their God given rights to earn as much money as they can get away with.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:19AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:19AM (#528227)

          Just look at the socialist hellhole that is Sweeden

          Yes it is a fucking hellhole. Especially after importing tons and tons of vermin from the other hellhole you listed, Somalia.

          And yes Socialism DESTROYS everything it touches.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:58AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:58AM (#528266)

            And the reason they continue to do so is because media is used as a nationwide bully, Stasi style. The main culprits are aftonbladet.se dn.se svt.se tv4.se expressen.se svd.se Which means that if you dare to point out any problem or protest these media houses will make sure you are doxxed, out of job, friends, beaten up by local mobs and without means of having a good life in general.

            The politicians just behave like dogs to these media houses. No balls.. Authorities has been staffed with people with a immigration agenda and Islamist agents. Ie, don't trust any them. There is a recent case were a hospital worker Fredrik Antonsson [petterssonsblogg.se] just collected news on the situation on the health services. And got hounded by the state media (svt.se).

            Caution: Any would be detectives as to my person. Any such attempts may be considered extremely hostile and treated as such.

          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday June 20, @07:02PM (2 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 20, @07:02PM (#528653) Journal

            Yes. Just look at the socialist hellhole that is Sweeden and Norway compared to the libertarian paradises like Somalia.

            World Happiness Index [sciencealert.com]

            Norway #1
            Sweden #10

            Both beating USA at #13

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:39AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:39AM (#528251)

          Actually Norway is doing well. The difference to Sweden is that their public figures and media will discuss problems and take action, even if the politicians are slow to act. They have a sense to protect the nation from threats due to being a occupied territory in the past. Oh, and they have the money to push through their decisions. They are also a lot more nationalistic than Sweden, in fact both the labor party and the conservatives of Norway got voted out in favor of a very mild nationalistic party.

          For citizens the problems are more practical right now. In Oslo the eastern parts are filled with a lot of dysfunctional elements. So for parents it pays to give some attention to the ratio of natives vs dysfunctionals. Then there's the violence in the parts of the city filled with dysfunctionals in the form of robberies, drug dealing, fighting and rape. It seems cities outside of the capital have magnitudes less of dysfunctionals.

          People need to understand that even if many countries in Europe are way smaller than many US states. They are vastly different in values and political circumstances. Which is why cooperation may work and federation is more or less doomed.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday June 20, @01:39AM (1 child)

          You seem to be mistaken there. Last I checked, all the nations on Europe's wang still believed in private ownership and free market exchange of goods and services, even if they are welfare states.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:06PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:06PM (#528656)

            I see your brain is still working on the binary system, sadly your OS will be deprecated because only software that can adapt to the needs of quantum superposition will be successful moving forward. I believe your hardware is actually compatible, but possibly you have a short between the two mainboards which is interfering with the upgrade process.

            But hey, now you know how the dinosaurs felt when they saw the skies clouding over, so you've got that going for you which is nice.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:55PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:55PM (#528430)

          Just look at the socialist hellhole that is Sweeden

          The world's rape capitol? The same country that finances Islamic State veterans? The same country the United Nations estimates will be as good as your average third-world hellhole by 2030?

          compared to the libertarian paradises like Somalia.

          That's another hellhole and for the same reason. Just goes to show the main factor in being a hellhole or not is not the economic system but the people.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:01AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:01AM (#528287)

        Fuck you. I got mine.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, @03:23AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, @03:23AM (#528863)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk1qlKu_RJo [youtube.com]
        "Today in the corporate media, Venezuela’s economic problems are used to paint the country as a failed state, in need of foreign-backed regime change. To get the Bolivarian government’s side of the crisis, Abby Martin interviews Venezuela’s Minister of Economic Planning, Ricardo Menéndez. They discuss shortages, oil dependency, the role of the US-backed opposition movement and more. The Empire Files joined him in Cojedes, Venezuela, where he was speaking to mass community meetings, organizing the population to fight against what he calls an economic war."

        See also:
        "The Threat of a Good Example" by Noam Chomsky from 1992
        https://chomsky.info/unclesam01/ [chomsky.info]
        "As far as American business is concerned, Nicaragua could disappear and nobody would notice. The same is true of El Salvador. But both have been subjected to murderous assaults by the US, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and many billions of dollars. There’s a reason for that. The weaker and poorer a country is, the more dangerous it is as an example. If a tiny, poor country like Grenada can succeed in bringing about a better life for its people, some other place that has more resources will ask, "why not us?""

        Obviously, the truth is probably in the middle there somewhere...

        Government officials everywhere make tough choices and some mistakes -- while other forces push as hard as possible to create regimes where they can privatize gains and socialize costs and risks.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday June 21, @08:03AM

          Obviously, the truth is probably in the middle there somewhere...

          When you can't get enough food or medicine on the grocery store shelves, no, it's really not. That nation is going to explode soon and nothing but $100/barrel crude or a return to capitalism could prevent it.

          It's not difficult to grasp, really. When you tell people they no longer have to strive for their daily bread, they stop striving. If you don't have something in place that can absorb the massive productivity hit, your economy implodes. The only thing that has ever even slowed this down is central management taking socialism to communism and even then it has failed horribly in every single case.

          Please don't bother bringing up the scandanavians. They may be disgusting welfare states but their economies are still largely free market capitalism; thus not socialists.

          --
          Save Ferris!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @04:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @04:38PM (#528571)

      they didn't screw anything, all social programs are ok. This is pure USA intervencionism financing and giving intel to a small minority so big oil can get hold of venezuela's resources

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