Cash-strapped Maduro administration targets bitcoin remittance to finance itself
According to a report published on Bloomberg, on 31st January, Venezuelans were moving to the black-market to buy Dollars because the officially sanctioned government market/exchange rate rose above the black-market rate. The same report also says that the reason behind what caused the reversal of the long-time dynamic and collapse in the supply of dollars is still uncleared. Due to the excessive exchange rate, people were forced to pay a premium of 20 times or more than that. According to MonitorDolarVz, a dollar costs 2,500 bolivars compared with 3,295 bolivars at the government rate.
So, what happened is, Venezuelans having bank accounts abroad started to leave the Maduro regime to sell their Dollar holdings. They came to know that they can simply make use of their international debit cards in any POS terminal in Venezuela and get a better rate. People have now literally started to rely on conventional exchanges such as Italcambio or Zoom Remesas instead of official sanction government exchange because the former ones were offering affordable rate. Another benefit of using this second market was the removal of shady intermediary that extracted plenty of money in the form of premium.
In addition to the excessive exchange rate, now the regime on March 1st a new system that would allow you to send bolivars to your family using cryptocurrencies. However, the thing is that the regime has already imposed commissions on the crypto transaction and fund transfers that range from 0.25 euros ($0.28) as the minimum rate per transaction to 15% of the funds transferred in cryptocurrencies.
Maduro administration had already destroyed their main source of income Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A/PDVSA -the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company. As a result, the state is running out of the money to finance the various government operations. Through this regime, the government may seek to earn profit from the migrants who are trying to send money to their families in the form of crypto.
Some recipient who tried out the system for the sake of curiosity said that “I sacrificed three dollars’ worth of bitcoin to test their system, for science (if I had sent any less, the fixed fee they charge would eat up too big a chunk of the money I sent). They asked me for the recipient’s ID number and date of birth and gave me a BTC address to send the money to. I sent the money, and after half an hour, the recipient got a text saying that the remittances were received.”
Another thing that sucks about Patria.org.ve is the super shady fund redeem process as the funds don’t go directly into the account of the recipient but one owned by Patria with the receiver getting a confirmation of the payment. Not only Patria but no other official channels of sending money work properly compared to the Black market.
“We redeemed the money in the Patria webpage, but it’s been a week and the recipient hasn’t received the bolivars. With 3.5% daily inflation, that’s a deal-breaker. Also, the rate isn’t even that good anymore,” said Caracas Chronicles.