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Venezuelan Govt. Media: Bitcoin Is the Currency of Cybercriminals

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:47 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:47 PM

A failing Venezuelan government that has left the country deep in the trenches of economic ruin has now published an article through a state-owned media outlet that sums up bitcoin as a currency used by criminals and terrorist groups who, it deems, are the “main activists and advocates [of] bitcoin.”

In a time of hyperinflation and a failed economy, the country’s minimum wage alone puts Venezuelan citizens beyond poverty. A high unemployment rate and hyper-inflated food prices are among the most critical concerns faced by Venezuelans.

Understandably, citizens have been looking toward cryptocurrencies to invest and secure their stagnating wealth. Most Venezuelans are still unaware of Bitcoin. Still, there are many everyday citizens, the likes of professors at graduate schools and bitcoin miners who are actively trying to educate others about Bitcoin.

The Venezuelan government is aware of the rising tide of adopters who are choosing Bitcoin over the country’s fiat currency, the bolivar.

These are citizens who are finding solutions to preserve their personal wealth. The government could take a cue from these ordinary citizens to find larger solutions or indeed, find novel ways to restore confidence and trust in the bolivar.

However, a new report published this week by Corporación Venezolana de Televisión or VTV, a public network and state-owned broadcaster under the administration of the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information, has a different take on Bitcoin. The report essentially opines that bitcoin users are cybercriminals.

The article begins by stating:

Is it a coincidence that the criminal and terrorist groups in the world, are the main activists and advocates bitcoin? / This virtual currency is not backed by any institution or country and is used to pay illegal transactions.

The VTV write-up then dismisses the opinions of economists and technology experts, professionals who vouch for bitcoin in noting:

“Some media, technology experts and ‘scholar’ economists have come out in recent years to defend the Bitcoins, leaving aside all risks concerning this, not only illegal, but also preferred cybercriminal system…” the article reads, before adding, without a hint of irony “…which facilitates transactions from criminal groups and terrorists, affecting peace, political and economic stability of many countries in the world.”

The article then points fingers at groups with “a subversive air” who are promoting the use of Bitcoin.

The broadly sweeping propaganda-filled write-up also accused those using Bitcoin are not aiding a “corrective development of the economy’.

Recently it could be known that many people have started to use Bitcoin as an alternative to evade the currency exchange policies emitted by the Bolivarian government to guarantee a correct development of the economy.

A benchmark report from a recent Bloomberg survey  revealed that Venezuela, for the second year running, has the most ‘miserable’ economy. The survey counted 63 economies with factors such as inflation, the unemployment rate among others saw Venezuela more than quadruple the tally of the next-worst ranked country in the list, Argentina.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently extended its “economic emergency” for another two months in March, after a February that already saw a 6,000 percent hike in petrol prices in the oil-rich country in an attempt to devaluate the bolivar and kick-start a collapsed economy.

Disclaimer: The content of the VTV article is taken from an unofficial translation.

Featured image from Shutterstock.