The biggest story on Reddit this week (that is, if you searched the term “Venezuela”) was “Oil output goes AWOL in Venezuela as soldiers run petroleum industry.” The story was posted on r/news and had 28,000 upvotes. The top comment with 8,000 upvotes was this:
“The only thing that consistently amazes me about the Venezuelan collapse is that the government in Caracas has somehow maintained control through six years of total economic implosion.”
Whilst on its own this might just seem like another sad addition to the growing number of issues facing the economically stricken country, there was also another big story floating around crypto Reddit this week regarding Venezuela, the world’s 44th biggest country by population (over 30 million people).
In October, Venezuela recorded an all-time high in terms of crypto trading volume, but in the last three weeks, three consecutive new record highs were also reached. As a result, in less than a month, the growth of Bitcoin trading volume in Venezuela was up to about 37%.
This got me thinking. I wonder if anyone is selling the ‘stolen’ oil in BTC (instead of the government-backed bolivar)? There’s certainly potential there. Even with the 2018 bear market, the depreciation rate of Bitcoin would be seen as much more preferable to the current depreciation of the bolivar.
I don’t think the two stories are linked, but if we do start to see those Russian fighters paying in crypto to park their new fancy (hypersonic) fighter jets in the hyperinflation-ravaged state, then maybe they will also want to fuel them up in stolen oil paid for in Bitcoin?