Refugees fleeing financially crippled Venezuela are finding some solace after being introduced to cryptocurrency with support from two blockchain companies.
Non-profit blockchain firm Cripto Conserje and US company Horizen (formerly ZenCash) have combined to create an education program for Venezuelan refugees fleeing the country to neighboring Columbia.
Hyperinflation is rampant in Venezuela and as a result, Bitcoin trading volume keeps hitting new records each week. Meanwhile, authorities are scratching their heads on how to rein in the burgeoning, albeit underground industry, including attempts to crackdown on the import of cryptocurrency mining equipment.
Yet again, cryptocurrency has become the go-to method of circumnavigating the all but worthless local currency, the Bolivar, with Zen becoming the latest to appear on the Venezuelan market. With over 2 million refugees crossing into Columbia since the economic crisis began, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dash have been Venezuelans only viable and usable method of purchasing daily necessities.
Cripto Conserje’s Alpha Project has been set up to increase cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America, especially in the border town of Cucuta, and is hoping to encourage more Venezuelans to turn to crypto. A company statement has said:
“Together we are providing ZEN paper wallets and education to those in need, ensuring they have secure ways to access and control their money no matter where they are and what situation they are in…We are also onboarding 100 local merchants to begin accepting ZEN as payments.”
The solution to the country’s economic plight was thought to be President Maduro’s launching of the Petro, a national cryptocurrency backed by Venezuela’s oil wealth, but the Petro has been rarely encountered, is untradeable, and consequently rendered completely ineffective to deal with the ongoing crisis.
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