Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin to Bypass Socialist Currency Controls
Tech-savvy Venezuelans looking to bypass dysfunctional economic controls are turning to the bitcoin virtual currency to obtain dollars, make Internet purchases -- and launch a little subversion.
Two New York-based Venezuelan brothers hope this week to start trading on the first bitcoin exchange in the socialist-run country, which already has at least several hundred bitcoin enthusiasts.
Due to currency controls introduced by late president Hugo Chavez a decade ago, acquiring hard currency now means either requesting it from the state, which struggles to satisfy demand, or tapping a shadowy black market. Even small dollar transactions are out of the question for most Venezuelans.
"I'm teaching people to use bitcoin to bypass the exchange controls," said Mogollon, a 42-year-old professor at the University of Tachira's graduate business school.
To learn how to use bitcoin in the most anonymous fashion possible, see this IM article.