It appears so. The rumors have been swirling as the struggling country has had a very interesting relationship with cryptocurrency in recent years. In the ashes of a destroyed currency, stories of Venezuelans turning to bitcoin mining to access better currency, using bitcoin to carry their wealth across boarders, and to receive money from family members working abroad. This is certainly true, but it is not as widespread as we bitcoiners would like to think. And we bitcoiners also tend to downplay the fact that the Maduro regime is most definitely using the technology to their advantage as well.
If you recall, the flailing dictator launched the Petro, a government issued cryptocurrency that was supposed to be backed by the country's oil supply. Nothing really ever came of that. We have come to find that the Petro was nothing more than a Trojan Horse of a media campaign to make the Venezuelan people aware of what bitcoin and altcoin miners looked like so that they could help the government confiscate the equipment. This was a big development that emerged in the wake of the 2017 bull market.
It is now coming out that the Venezuelan government is way more into Bitcoin than we thought. On top of confiscating people's miners and holding them ransom for their bitcoin, the Maduro regime is also printing bolivars and buying bitcoin directly via LocalBitcoins. In a sense, speculative attacking itself. They're also apparently using bitcoin to skirt sanctions and purchase medical goods and other supplies from Russia and China. What a fucking world.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mauricio Di Bartolomeo and Adam Reeds from Ledn.io last week. Mauricio is a man who used to run a mining operation in Venezuela and has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in the country in regards to bitcoin adoption. If you're curious about what is really going on, I highly recommend you check it out.
At the end of the day, this is the uncomfortable reality of Bitcoin. It will be used by tyrants and refugees. The network has no idea who is sending messages within it. All are welcome to find safety in sats.
The youth is about to get a lesson in sound money in the digital age.
Enjoy your weekend, freaks.