It is not uncommon to hear street conversations in Caracas that include the term Bitcoin. There is a wrong body of opinion on the Venezuelan Bitcoin market on an international scale.
It is 7 o’clock in the evening, there is a delay on the subway and the train, whose air conditioning system stopped working several months ago, has remained in the tunnel that connects Bellas Artes and Colegio de Ingenieros stations for over twenty minutes. This is a terrible situation in which there are overcrowding, humidity, and claustrophobia. The passengers gasp, cough and complain about the heat. Many of them try to get distracted by looking at the reflection on the glass while begging to reach the next station as soon as possible.
In the midst of human heat and bad mood, it can be observed after a few minutes that a coin shines. With certain bling that manages to catch attention, a keychain in the form of a Bitcoin coin hangs out of the pocket of a middle-aged man.
The situation described above occurred some weeks ago in the Caracas subway system. Round, modest and without pretentions of grandeur, Bitcoin was seen as an apparently worthless thing inside that train. However, in the midst of human poverty and tiredness, that little object could be noticed by those who know its meaning.
Bitcoin adoption in Venezuela resembles that keychain that was hanging from the pocket of that stranger. It goes unnoticed on a train full of people, but it is still there.
It is said that Venezuela has the largest Bitcoin trading market in the world, which is not true. It is also believed that the government’s interest in crypto assets has increased the use of cryptocurrencies on the street.
Bitcoin Raises Curiosity
Even though there are Venezuelans that buy Bitcoin as a method to safeguard the value and have started to accept it in their businesses, the use of the cryptocurrency in everyday life is still scarce. Nevertheless, the wake of cryptocurrencies is starting to have an impact on everyday activities. The same as the aforementioned keychain, the sign of Bitcoin goes unnoticed in Caracas´s everyday life.
A café downtown Caracas, a Christmas dinner or a university canteen can be the ideal scenery to raise the subject of Bitcoin. On certain occasions, it is possible to hear some people talking about cryptocurrency mining while walking on Caracas streets.
The common citizen does not understand Bitcoin but rather wants to learn how it works, since an increasing number of people are using it as a financial tool. For example, at a contemporary painting event, a person may express an interest in learning more about the much-mentioned “Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin has become a familiar topic in Venezuelan society due to its increasingly widespread use and the launch of Petro. On the highway that connects the southeast with the west of the city, it is possible to find multiple advertising billboards on which Bitcoin trading services are offered nationwide.
The huge advertisements are initially out of place in a country where the majority of people do not use bitcoins but dollars as a method to safeguard value. However, it is a silent reminder that the use of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela can eventually become an everyday activity that will cease to go unnoticed.
By Willmen Blanco