Venezuela Turns To Crypto As National Currency

Venezuela protest photo

The news out of Venezuela just keeps going from bad to worse, with runaway inflation, sovereign debt defaults and a shrinking economy making it hard for average people to even put enough food on the table.

The Venezuelan government has pinned its hopes on a new cryptocurrency tied to the value of oil, the country’s main export, to keep prices stabilized and bring normalcy back to the economy.

However, Venezuelans who have long lost trust in their government are turning to a new private cryptocurrency, Dash, to finance the transactions they need to keep their lives in motion.

Dashing to the Rescue

Venezuela is now Dash’s second largest customer base, beating out much larger Russia and China where cryptocurrencies are also very popular among people looking to shield themselves and their wealth from often unstable economies.

Each month adds tens of thousands of new wallet downloads, which allow the users to transact with other Dash customers using this new cryptocurrency.

Unlike many other cryptocurrencies that suffer from the reasonably accurate criticism that they don’t make very good currencies for actually transacting, Dash offers near-instantaneous transaction settlement for razor-thin processing fees.

It is no surprise, then, that Dash has quickly climbed to become the 14th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as desperate people in Venezuela and elsewhere adopt it to take advantage of the stability and security that it offers.

Retailer Adoption

The key to Dash’s success as a cryptocurrency in Venezuela was its ability to convince many local and national retailers to adopt the platform, which allows its customers to purchase products using the cryptocurrency.

Retailer adoption of cryptocurrency has been the major sticking point for cryptocurrencies around the globe: if people can’t use their cryptocurrency at their favorite stores, then what is the point of using it?

Through a major outreach effort, the adoption of Dash among Venezuelan retailers has snowballed from humble beginnings as people become increasingly accustomed to transacting in a private cryptocurrency.

Undoubtedly the major push for retailer adoption was the fact that there were no alternatives left as the value of the Venezuelan currency spiraled out of control.

With both retailers and customers left with no real means of transacting, people were ready to take a chance on the unproven technology of cryptocurrencies.

A Sign for the Future?

While Venezuela’s adoption of the new cryptocurrency, Dash, may be a unique example caused more by desperation than any enthusiasm for the potential of blockchain technology, as a test-bed for the widespread use of cryptocurrencies by both customers and retailers the case of Dash in Venezuela may have a major influence on deeper adoption of cryptocurrencies around the globe.

If people see that an entire country can be run on cryptocurrency, then they may be encouraged to adopt cryptocurrency use for transactions without the need for a total economic collapse to drive them to experiment out of sheer desperation.

The future of Venezuela and Dash will definitely be in the sights of many people interested in the future of cryptocurrencies, as what happens there may have a widespread influence on the global role of cryptocurrency in the years to come.