Venezuelan Bolivars and U.S. dollars. (Rustamxakim/Shutterstock)
Alejandro Machado is a co-founder of the Open Money Initiative, a non-profit research organization working to guarantee the right to a free and open financial system. He heads research efforts at Valiu, a crypto startup that serves Venezuelans.
Venezuela is dollarizing: About in the country take place in U.S. dollars now. The majority of these are cash transactions, as local banks don’t offer dollar checking or savings accounts for the masses. As a result, Venezuelans have to handle two kinds of suboptimal money: digital bolivars that quickly lose their value, and physical dollars that are dangerous to store in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.
In theory, crypto-dollars should fill this space, and dollar-stable assets that anyone can hold , even if so far the global trend is only beginning to take hold in Venezuela.