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Venezuela: Government closes banks amid coronavirus crisis

Cryptocurrency

Nicolás Maduro, dictator of Venezuela (Photo: Jeso Carneiro / Flickr)

The Venezuelan government ordered the country's banks to close on Monday (16), as announced by the banking regulator (Sudeban) over the weekend. The action aims to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“All activities involving direct attention to customers, users and the general public through agencies, branches, offices and administrative headquarters across the country are suspended,” says Circular signed by Antonio Morales Rodriguez, head of the agency.

According to Rodriguez, there is no provision for the return of banking services to citizens; the public is already beginning to complain.

“If ATMs worked in this country, I wouldn't complain”, said a Venezuelan on Twitter.

Collapse in Venezuela

It is not just today that Venezuela has been suffering a serious crisis in all sectors of the government. Cornered by US economic sanctions, the country's economy has long been collapsing due to hyperinflation.

Nicolás Maduro almost lost his term to his opponent Juan Guaidó. Bolivarian banknotes, now devalued, are now weighed; a stack, 1 dollar.

Maduro tried to solve the problem by cutting zeros in the official currency and creating a cryptocurrency, Petro, to be used as a form of payment in the country.

It even released the casinos to work with Petro. But he erred in wanting to tax cryptocurrency brokers and traders, as stocks of this type do not let any new market flow.

Another point: his dictatorial position and the lack of commitment to the social sector further distanced him from the confidence of international markets – nobody wants to pay for oil in a controversial currency like Petro.

The cryptocurrency did not work, as all actions have so far managed to solve the problem of lack of food and hygiene products. The country is isolated, and now quarantined.

At the border with Brazil, not even a single Venezuelan passes, given the determination of the government that banned the passage for 15 days – whoever fails to comply will be deported immediately.

Bitcoin via P2P

With the quarantine that has been taking place since Tuesday (17) by Maduro's determination, there has also been an increase in bitcoin transactions via P2P platforms.

LocalBitcoins, for example, sees its biggest increase of the year. At the Twitter, the company extolled:

"During tough times, like the current coronavirus pandemic, bitcoin proves its worth and we at LocalBitcoins are proud to bring bitcoin everywhere!"


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