The Venezuelan economy has been in terrible shape in the last couple of decades as it's been going through hyperinflation to a point where the local currency is as good as a roll of toilet paper.
Because of this, the local population was forced to either emigrate outside of the country to nations that have a better economic condition or stay in Venezuela and somehow combat the issues from within.
On top of the hyperinflation, Venezuela has had to face a lot of economic sanctions from the United States, due to its allegedly authoritarian government under Nicholas Maduro.
Having an already horrible currency, and restricted access to some of the richest markets is disastrous, especially considering that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. But in a sense, those oil reserves are what caused the economic crisis in the first place.
The Population Adapted
Although there seemed to be no way out of the economic issues for the local population. Some tech-savvy youngsters managed to discover cryptocurrency, which had absolutely nothing to do with external governments, local inflation rates, and overall the global economy. It was and is a fully independent source of income, which many use on a daily basis in the country today.
The first crypto to gain popularity in the country was Dash as it had features allowing it to be transferred via SMS. This was absolutely crucial as many citizens aren't very tech literate, or lack access to modern smartphones and the internet.
Today, most Venezuelans receive money from a family living abroad through Dash or other cryptocurrencies thanks to hot and cold wallets.
The use of these currencies has become so popular in fact, that Venezuelans have resumed accessing the global markets and spending these funds elsewhere, even on things that aren't really necessities.
One such transfer was made for Australian casino bonuses on a specific platform, which makes it quite weird.
According to the staff there, the moment this first transfer was made, they received a lot more coverage in Venezuela. This probably meant that the users were trying to store their funds as far away from the government as possible, and an online casino was their best choice.
The Government Reacted
Once the government figured out that the population was using alternate methods for payments, it immediately started cracking down on it.
However, it's hard to crack down on decentralized currencies, therefore Petro was introduced. Petro is a government-backed cryptocurrency, which is anything but decentralized. It was quickly rejected by the local population and is barely being used nowadays, despite the fact that the government keeps on developing it.
Some moments of forcing the crypto on the population were sighted where pensions would only be paid through Petro with plans to transition to salaries as well.
But this week, an even better alternative arose. Several Venezuelan oil companies requested the central bank to start accepting Ethereum and Bitcoin, as it would open up their opportunities to conduct business with new countries and simplify their financial relations with already existing customers like Cuba and Russia.
Would This Help Avoid US Sanctions?
In a sense, it would indeed provide a gap in the sanctions for a little while. But the United States is definitely no pushover, and would immediately find ways to disrupt these transactions.
Things like hack attacks would most likely be the case as they would shut down the banking systems in Venezuela. It wouldn't even be considered as an act of aggression under current sanctions.
As for the local population, it's unlikely that they'll get the benefit of the new agreement. Plus, it's never a good idea to transfer millions of dollars worth of BTC and ETH in the hands of a government that destroyed its own currency in the past.