Here in Venezuela, Doctors Struggle to Access Aid From Crypto Platform

Here in Venezuela, Doctors Struggle to Access Aid From Crypto Platform

Bitcoin adoption has grown in Venezuela amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it still remains low nationwide. (Kevin Keith/Unsplash)

CARACAS, Venezuela — At first blush, it looked like cryptocurrency adoption was poised to make a huge stride in Venezuela.

Late last month, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced he would use the digital currency exchange Airtm to redistribute to . The money would come from funds that the U.S. government seized from the incumbent Maduro government. The “health heroes” funds would be delivered via Airtm’s stablecoin, AirUSD.

But after speaking to various medical personnel here, I came away with the impression that the health heroes campaign has been somewhat chaotic. 

One health care worker told me what happened when she tried to register:

“Most people I know, who work like me in the health sector and have discussed the matter, couldn’t register and didn’t even know what Airtm is. … The first registration page kept failing and it made you go back to the beginning. … I only know one person who was able to register but has not received the confirmation email.”

Venezuela has become a popular example of the power of crypto, which is sometimes more reliable than our hyperinflated national currency, the bolivar. But the Airtm campaign is another example of how are easily obstructed by the daily challenges of Venezuelan life.  

Bitcoin adoption is low nationwide, but during quarantine its use appears to have grown a little. peer-to-peer trade volume has in 2020. [Note: Paxful recently , citing U.S. sanctions.] 

Venezuela currently has cases of COVID-19 and the pandemic has only worsened Venezuela’s The vast of the population survives day to day and must decide between starvation or risking the virus to earn some money.

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