Bitcoins are becoming a powerful force in many different ways, but for people living in failed states, bitcoins are a lifeline to the outside world. Bitcoins are money that is difficult for governments to control, they are global and virtual. Bitcoins in Venezuela is a special case because electricity is almost free (although supply is unreliable) and the government is failing. It is the perfect storm for bitcoin miners and a lifeline for the Venezuelan economy.
The Secret, Dangerous World of Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining
Four years ago, Alberto’s career prospects were bleak. The 23-year-old Venezuelan had just graduated from college with a degree in computer science, but his nation’s economy was already shredded by 13 years of socialism. “There were job opportunities, but they paid like $20 a month, and we were used to traveling and buying things from abroad so we couldn’t settle for that,” his friend Luis recalls.