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What’s going on in Venezuela? - Bottomshelf Bitcoin [Episode 19][Transcription]

Transcription of episode 19 of the podcast Bottomshelf Bitcoin (@BottomshelfBTC). Josh Humphrey (@J_humphr3y) interviews Randy Brito (@randybrito), founder of Bitcoin Venezuela



Bottomshelf Bitcoin, episode 19, published on June 19, 2018

What’s going on in Venezuela?


[00:00:27]

Josh Humphrey: Hey everybody! Welcome back to another episode of Bottomshelf Bitcoin, the podcast that puts Bitcoin knowledge within everyone's reach. As always I'm your host, Josh Humphrey, and today with me is Randy Brito with BitcoinVenezuela.com, Randy, welcome to the show.

Randy Brito: Thank you for having me here.

Josh Humphrey: I wanna talk about several things today, but before we really talk about Bitcoin, can you gives us an overview of what's going on in Venezuela politically? I know it's not simple, and I'm not gonna ask you to give years and years of history here but I think allot of people don't have a clue of what's going on in Venezuela.

Randy Brito: Politically, in Venezuela is an authoritarian regime who has all the powers executive, law and forces and they control all of it without asking other institutions. Basically they can do whatever they want, like executive orders daily and the most of the institutions there has to do what the president says, so in that is an authoritarian regime. More into the political scene is that there isn't any opposition group who could take the power any time soon, and this is because former president Chávez, destroyed all of the opposition groups, they putted everyone on jail, anyone who could actually make something has been jailed or have being prohibited to run on any election, but elections themselves are gain (by the government). All of the elections in Venezuela since 2001 has run through electronic voting system which most of the time have been claim to be fraud. Basically a system where people vote electronically, and the votes ares counted somehow distributed through some hops, jumping through the country and some jump into servers in Cuba, it's like there is democratic authoritarian regime in Venezuela. They win the elections democratically, but only because they count the votes themselves.

Josh Humphrey: What does it look like on a day-to-day basis for the Venezuelan people?

Randy Brito: Daily people need to make lines, everyday, they usually have to make lines to buy food, medicine, they even have to make lines for the gas station despite being the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world but it's unable to extract that oil because they don't have enough money to invest in machinery to do it. Since 2003, foreign exchange currency control and also a capital control were imposed by Chávez, to avoid people from fleeing the money out of the country when they started persecuting private companies in the country. This limitation has bring allot of problems on imports, production and buying supplies and things that you need to produce other things like in agriculture, mostly everything. Most of the cars are not assembled anymore in Venezuela, but you cannot buy the parts of the car because you are not able to import them so there are controls on imports. These limited number of foreign currency, hard currency that can be used to import things or buy things in order to produce inside Venezuela has taught people how to exchange balances in some services, for example, people ten years ago used to use allot Amazon Gift Cards so (now) they trade Amazon Gift Cards on online forums, through WhatsApp, Facebook groups and things like that, so people are used to this, also people exchange balances on bank accounts of different branches so they can get instant transfers instead of waiting one day to get the transfer completed. This is something that they have learned in the bad way despite they don't understand the technical part of Bitcoin, they do understand that there could be some kind of balance that they can trade with others. People are using Bitcoin platforms and exchanges the way they used to use Amazon Gift Card, Neteller, Payoneer, Payeer, all these services to make transfers between them, using them as a way to trade foreign currency for the local currency, so they can protect themselves from hyperinflation which is currently calculated around 32,000% per year for this 2018.

[00:07:19]

Josh Humphrey: That's really interesting though I've never heard about the usage of Amazon cards and things like that, it kinda makes more sense that people are used to using this alternative ways to protect themselves and provide and it's hard to live in America and to really picture that but I think that if my family daily living depended on figuring these things out I think you'll just do it to provide for you and your family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and about BitcoinVenezuela.com, what you guys do and how you got started? 

Randy Brito: I started myself learning about Bitcoin in April 2011, and after a year of reading about it, talking with people in IRC on FreeNode, reading on the BitcoinTalk Forum when it was possible to read all of it in one day. I tried to teach people in Venezuela on how to use Bitcoin the regular forms there like going to the most known forums in Venezuela and start talking about it but people don't pay attention to what you say because they are mostly trying to survive everyday, it's not like 2012 when the food was not so scarce like it is now. The problems in Venezuela come not only from food scarcity, like it's now, or power outrage but it's also about crime and how you have to pay attention to whatever you do or say in the street because you can get killed by your phone, I mean you could just get killed by someone on the street trying to get your phone for example. People (in Venezuela) is not paying attention to what's happening in the rest of the world , people is trying to survive. So I setup BitcoinVenezuela.com as a trusted source of information about what is Bitcoin and how it can already be used in Venezuela for achieving some things, for example, importing, working for other people through the Internet resolving person to person questions online through Skype and get paid with cryptocurrency. I set it up as a non-for profit organization and after a few months people started joining as collaborators so we ran some talks in a couple universities and we funded through crowdfunding with Bitcoin some marketing campaigns and crowdfunding to make more talks through the country and in 2014 when there was one of the biggest riots since 2003 when national economy was stopped as a way of demostration. In 2014 people started going to the streets to riot and to call for free elections and people on the streets started to stay for longer than a couple days and they started needing money and we helped some people to waste money thru Bitcoin to fund their riot, basically we where paying for food, water and also giving money to some people so they could not go to work and could stay on the streets with their movement. This was something that bring allot of attention to Bitcoin itself in 2014 because most of the riots in the streets where supported by the opposition leaders despite they didn't go directly to the streets themselves, they were calling for revolt. So the Bitcoin Venezuela group started helping these people in the streets and these people were noticing where the money was coming from, they were asking about Bitcoin so they started learning themselves, and started printing flyers and taking the flyers to the streets not only the regular signs that you bring at a demonstration but also flyers about what is Bitcoin and how Bitcoin were helping them to keep the fight in the street. It was massively known back then that there was something called Bitcoin was used to help them use their rights in the streets while the government were killing them. So there was something, a tool, that would bring them some liberty and in that situation, a year later, when a new demonstration started they were bringing signs of Bitcoin and they were bringing them because of the liberty movements Students for Liberty, Movimiento Libertario and Movimiento Libertad Venezuela they started to openly talk about it on the street to other people who were trying to fight for the freedom.

[00:13:38]

Josh Humphrey: Wow! That's a use case. In America, people on the mainstream media would say there's no use case for Bitcoin or they'll say if there is a use case is for all this horrible things, right? Or people buy things just because they can with Bitcoin but it doesn't really matter, like Gift Cards or things like that. For what you are saying, you guys have a real use case for a censorship resistant money that they (the government) can't stop from being used to purchase things. That's really cool and it's encouraging, I think, for the rest of us to remember that this does actually affects and it's helping people. What are you guys working on now?

Randy Brito: Currently, we are basically trying to stop people from making fraud to each other. People are currently trading Bitcoin into local currency in some platforms, which are basically centralized platforms or using LocalBitcoins directly. But what people usually do there is trying to save on fees, even if these fees are pretty low, they usually try to save that because that's food for a couple of days there (in Venezuela). So 1% of what you're buying or selling in LocalBitcoins, for them it's allot of money. They use the Facebook groups that we have, which currently have around 10,000 people in total and what we are trying to do is to find a way to reduce fraud, and the other thing I'm currently working on it's trying to explain to people who are buying or selling products for foreign currency through balances, for example, there are people selling food or boxes of food, and staples and other things in the internet or Facebook groups and they say "I only get PayPal", "I only get Russian roubles" or "I only get Amazon Giftcard. I'm trying to explain to these people that they can use Bitcoin as a currency directly and make it easier for other to pay because when someone wants to buy something like food and the only way to pay for that food is with PayPal, they first need to buy that balance from someone else and they need to pay a high premium. But, if they are able to pay with Bitcoin directly they can make a Bitcoin asset income by working or doing something and then they can buy anything with it. I'm trying to explain that you can use Bitcoin as a currency directly and stop using the Bolivar currency. I would like to explain to people why they shouldn't be using bolivars, it should be pretty easy to spot but it's really difficult when you get your income from Bolivar to stop using the bolivars completely. And that situation is like you said, people in the US or Europe don't understand why someone would like not to use their local currency. It's difficult because in Venezuela you get bolivars as your income, for example, from the government if you are a employee of the government or from the company you work for because that's the only currency they are selling their products for so they got bolivars and pay the employee with it. What is hard to understand is that when you get bolivars as a payment you are already inside the radar of the government, this is something that is not common in the rest of the country's but in Venezuela if you make a transfer from your bank account to someone else, this transfer daily the bank has to share it with a central office of the government who takes a look at every transfer that happens inside the country and this is something that most people just don't care about even in Venezuela. But the situation is going worse so right now, for example, they shut down 90% of the bank accounts in one bank branch and they did it because they knew that people were making remittances from outside the country, like sending euros from one bank to another and then someone in Venezuela was depositing or transferring the bolivars there, so they were making non-regulated remittances transfers at an exchange rate, which is the black market rate or the free market rate in Venezuela, so the government shut down 90% of the bank accounts inside this bank because they wanted to go through each one of them to look who were making or receiving remittances at unregulated exchange rate and right now they (the government) have even publicly said that they will track any transfer in bank accounts in the last year for example that has being used for buying or selling cryptocurrencies at speculative prices and not the government-regulated exchange rate for cryptocurrencies.

[00:20:00]

Josh Humphrey: Ok, so, they have their own official exchange rate, is that what you're saying? They say if you're going to buy cryptocurrencies it has to be at this government sanction, right?

Randy Brito: There is one fixed US dollar to bolivars exchange rate since 2003, and since then, has been 111 different exchange rates imposed by the government, so right now the exchange rate approved by the government is one that is supposedly to be auctioned which is selling dollars for imported things and it is around 80,000.00 bolivars per dollar but the black market US dollar rate is around 2,500,000.00 million bolivars. The government obviously doesn't like the blackmarket rate except for the fact they take advantage of it. Because they can get the dollars at a very low price, around 80,000.00 bolivars for example and then sell it at 2.5 million in the black market, and this is something that has been happening for like 12 or 14 years now, so, it's allot of time, they have a way to make money out of this controlled foreign currency exchange. Cryptocurrency itself doesn't have a fixed price by the government, but as the US dollar has one and cryptocurrencies are denominated in dollars, they understand or pretend to control the sell of cryptocurrencies by this fixed exchange rates they want to apply, and right now they are starting to open government-regulated and approved cryptocurrencies exchanges in the country. These cryptocurrencies exchanges are going to start offering the Petro, which is the government issued cryptocurrency they say is backed by oil but they are not even producing oil so it's like it's not backed by anything. These local approved cryptocurrency exchanges could be obligated to sell the Petro and also will set the price for the non-speculative price for cryptocurrencies when they start accepting bolivars if they do, because that's something we need to see because apparently they don't want to accept bolivars, they did the Petro when they started saying it was an ICO launch they didn't want bolivars for Petro they only got Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, US dollar, euros, roubles and anything else but not bolivars themselves so the government was basically not accepting the same currency they issue because they don't trust that currency, obviously. Right now for example, the government approved exchange rate for receiving remittances in the offices they have just let operate in the country approved by them or regulated by them is 1.3 million bolivars per dollar so they themselves have change from auction 80,000.00 bolivars per dollar to the 1.3 Bolivar per dollar with the blink of an eye, so, in that they still want to control the amount of bolivars they get for each dollar and that way they basically are setting the price for one Bitcoin like 2.5 or 3 times lower than it actually is in the black market.

Josh Humphrey: So then the price of Bitcoin would be lower but then you'd be subject to government surveillance essentially, correct?

Randy Brito: It would be lower but if you are not allowed to with the money you have, which is the local currency is basically prohibiting you from getting that currency at that price.

[00:25:02]

Josh Humphrey: Let's go back for a minute, how are people getting Bitcoin then in Venezuela? Because thus is me I'm thinking I don't want to use, if they already are shutting down the traditional banks to go through everybody's transactions history then I think for me I would be very distrusting of their official exchanges as well. How are people getting Bitcoin? How are people purchasing Bitcoin in Venezuela?

Randy Brito: Currently people are earning the Bitcoin by mining, because the last few years people were importing allot of mining devices because of the cheap electricity in the country because is subsidised by the government. So there are many devices already in the country, people can buy and sell the devices in the Facebook groups, people make an income from mining. That's one of the ways people get Bitcoins.

[00:26:09] Until a couple of months ago when the government set up a new office for regulating mining and cryptocurrencies in the country, right now you have to get approved by the government to import new devices. Not only ASICs, but also computer parts, so you have to be approved by a brand new office which takes care of cryptocurrencies regulations in the country. You need to be approved to importing a motherboard or a graphic card. So, mining was like the Wild West until a couple of months ago in Venezuela, people were mining in their houses or paying their neighbours to put the devices there so they don't have all the devices in the same house. People had huge warehouses with thousands of crypto mining devices or ASICs so that's one of the ways there seems to be allot of people with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in Venezuela. I said it seems to be because, as always, those that are able to have warehouses filled with thousands of ASICs are not the regular people, (they) are usually people who are pretty close to the government and people that have some kind of protection because if you are an individual with a couple of ASICs in your house it is really possible that you get a visit from the Bolivarian Service of Intelligence, which is the SEBIN, and they'll knock on your door and ask for a bribe, if they are not happy with the bribe or you stop paying them they'll just come to your house and get the devices for them and put you in jail a couple of months until you accept that you've been robbed and stop looking for your devices. This what is common in Venezuela for mining and the other way people are making cryptocurrency is basically through captchas and other actions they can do online (like) writing, reviewing code or other thing. People who are doing this is basically other income they have and (for) most of them even is the only income for an entire family of six or eight people, they trade this earned Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in LocalBitcoins or the Facebook groups, Telegram groups and other things. So, that's the way people are making Bitcoins in Venezuela. The high volume that is shown in charts like Coin.dance, which is a site with charts from LocalBitcoins, shows more than 400 Bitcoin per week. I think, myself, is not coming from people PR review or writing an article, I think the volume come from people who makes allot of money from mining and are selling there for local currency for whatever reason or they are selling them for not local currency but any other currency in the world so they can fund their bank account outside the country.

Josh Humphrey: Yeah, because like you said on Coin.dance it seems like is allot. I was also wondering how people would have a bunch of miners, a bunch of ASICs or whatever because that's kind of what I have heard when you talk about individuals is that you get a visit from your government officials or police or somebody either the equipment would be taken or you would have to pay the bribe or whatever. So that makes more sense, people who have allot, either has some kind of connection or protection. So, allot of people are doing some source of digital online business service coding or whatever and accepting it as their source of income, that makes sense to me. Now, when they do the turn around and be able to use that, I mean, it sounds to me like you're working on merchant adoption and honestly I have to confess that I'm not very familiar with Venezuela's geography or where the big cities are, but do you see a growing merchant adoption or is it difficult? I mean, I'm a content creator or coder and I'm accepting Bitcoin as payments, then, how hard is it for me to go get my daily supplies, or do most people has to convert a certain amount of that backed to bolivars or something else in order to get to pay for things?

Randy Brito: Yeah, people need to convert that to local currency in order to pay things they make enough to be able to make a living for themselves and their families so they need to exchange most of it to the local currency to buy things. Also because most of the things are sold not that cheap, because to find things, when there is scarcity, things are really expensive so most of the time has to pay two or three times what others are willing to pay so they can get the things before the other ones. And this bribery made their income in cryptocurrency. The common thing right now is to convert that to local currency. Use the Bitcoin, or dollars on some kind of services like Uphold which let's you hold virtual dollars and as a reserve of value o store value and then turn that into local currency when you need to buy things. This is because you cannot go to the grocery store and pay with cryptocurrency itself nor with the dollars, not even Uphold dollars. Is not that common. There are places in Venezuela where this is more common everyday, that tell you when you come (to their store) that you can pay with dollars, they tell you "you can pay here with dollars in cash at the current price" for example, or you can pay with bolivars in bank transfers so you have to pay for this bag of food and staples and things like that at this amount but if you pay in cash, in bolivars cash, you get a 50% discount on the bag. So, makes sense that people still use the local currency and bank transfers, first, because is the only thing that people can openly accept but also because you can have your money worth double, or is worth double if you get local currency cash. If you get someone to buy your Bitcoins, your couple of bucks on Bitcoin with the cash they have in their house, you can get that cash and buy something on 50% discount in the streets, because people need cash for others things so they are willing to sell you the product a 50% discount in cash. That's one of the reasons why people say that, and this also in the US and Europe and everywhere, people are not going to pay with a currency which value is going to grow in a couple days or a couple of months when they talk about Bitcoin. In Venezuela is kind of different because you cannot use the bitcoins to buy something, you cannot buy bus tickets but you can do that in Europe, you can go to Destinia and buy a bus ticket with your bitcoins but you can't do that in Venezuela because there is not merchant adoption, at least not that grown. People depend on TMs, tellers or traders who keeps their bank transfers or cash or whatever in the local currency in order to buy the things they need that's one of the things I would like to change which is convince people to use the cryptocurrency directly for the products they sell or the services they sell and this is something that Dash, they community in Venezuela is really big mostly because they get crowdfunded activities, talks, and all those things are paid with Dash Foundation and the Dash collaborators, they pay for that, so they give talks around the country and they have a project to merchant adoption Bitcoin Cash Foundation, they have just publish a way to get rewarded for each merchant they explain cryptocurrencies to and get them to accept cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash for example. Myself with my team of collaborators are trying to do the same for Bitcoin, Zcash, Monero, trying to get people to use this currency directly so making an income in cryptocurrencies or mining cryptocurrencies can buy from others without going to the bank or without converting to bolivars.

[00:37:39]

Josh Humphrey: Let's talk about charity and how people can get involved and what does that look like in Venezuela from the charity side?

Randy Brito: Sending help to Venezuela is one of the examples that actually cryptocurrencies can help with because as the authoritarian regime doesn't want to accept that they are failing to keep the company's, energy, food and medicine change going, it's really common to make donations to Venezuela so they persecute the opposition leader who are crowdfunding help to Venezuela, they don't want to talk about it, so doing it with cryptocurrency is a way to actually help some people that do need this help. Ourselves, at BitcoinVenezuela.com are helping to fund organizations who are non-for-profit who basically go to these places where kids go everyday to eat, or old people who are left in some houses by themselves so they go there and bring food or medicines, they bring clothes to them. Also there's allot of people in the streets that don't have anything to eat so this organization go to the streets with their cars and bags full of food and water and they try to help these people by taking to them. This is something we are helping ourselves in by asking for donations in Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash or Litecoin, any cryptocurrency people are willing to give and with them fund these organizations who give the direct help, they simply don't get money or whatever they need for their activities like food, boxes, bags, water, whatever they end up giving to people. I run this activities myself with the collaborators of Bitcoin Venezuela which we called 'Bitcoin for Venezuela Initiative' and we have been doing that for one and a half year now. A couple of more activities for crowdfunding funds in Venezuela are helping, for example, EatBCH, which was launched a couple of months ago and there are other ones which is Hormigas, and other Facebook groups or Facebook activities that are also funded with cryptocurrencies. They basically share a QR code or a Bitcoin address on the pictures of the activities they do and they get donations directly from the community.

[00:41:32]

Josh Humphrey: Ok, I wasn't going to bring it up but since you brought that up with EatBCH, I know they kinda came under fire for putting peoples pictures, do you feel like that's something the people in Venezuela care about or don't care about? What are your thoughts on how do you maintain transparency to people who are sending their funds, saying "I wanna help people", how do you make sure that those funds go to the right people? And how do donors know you're not going to run off with their money? I don't think you are, I'm just asking for the sake of conversation. How do you tackle those issues?

Randy Brito: I do it as the founder of Bitcoin Venezuela, I, basically use trust on that. I used to post the pictures of the activities we did a year ago but I stopped doing that for two reasons, first, because private donations are usually higher than the public ones that you get from the QR code that you posted, and second, because it's Venezuela, you cannot post pictures of people who are helping or even are being helped. In Venezuela you can be prosecuted or even jailed if you're helping others. One of the thing I once did was getting supplies for the kids of a hospital that weren't getting vaccines or they weren't getting any treatment because they didn't have the supply to do it, and when we paid for that I found someone trustable who were willing to find out what they need or the doctors need and we delivered the things that the doctors needed. When we tried to do that, we were warn that we couldn't make that public, because last time that same hospital someone tried to get something to there the military came inside the hospital and take the donations someone sent from outside the country in a box, and the took the box from them from inside the hospital, so they took the supplies that someone donated and confiscated that. In that world, which is Venezuela, most of the people running crowdfunding food and posting pictures of kids in the streets, these groups don't pay attention to what country they are on. I try not to post pictures of people because of that. The group could be persecuted, they could be put in jail. Also, I try not to post pictures of kids or the people who's getting the food because they are known in their city, people see this everyday so they can spot who is the one appearing in the picture and that's really bad in that situation. Basically is trust, people trust in me and I trust in the people I help and they deliver and they take pictures and videos of it, I privately share that with private donators. As there is no law in Venezuela, and people can be jailed for helping I try not to make that public. I think that's one of the things these other groups were warn o criticized not only because that could bring shame into their families who receive the help but they are ignoring that there's also danger, there is a risk for people not only giving help but also receiving it.

Josh Humphrey: Randy, I can't even imagine that. This is not my main job, I work in a hospital, so, I can't even imagine not having the necessary supplies to help your patient, to care for people and then when someone is willing to bring those in, having them confiscated. I'm so glad you've come on the show today, 'cause it's like I said, there's so many of us here, in America, in Europe we just have no clue what life really is for you guys. So where can I settle this for people who wanna help or to contribute in some way or if they want to get in touch with you, how can we connect with you?

Randy Brito: If people are willing to help, the best way they can do it is by teaching others to accept the cryptocurrencies directly. That way the would have the freedom to help inside their own country, to buy things, to trade, without going through the government system. Also, if don't have the time or the knowledge to help others by teaching them, they could simply make donations to those who are using their time and effort on teaching others. The educational part is more into the local language, because those who understand the situation are able to explain it better but they don't have the means to use their time for that activity of teaching. The usually have to work or to make lines to buy their basic needs. So our way to give them time, basically is by donations so they can have some time that they can use for promoting and explaining and making people understand that they can regain some liberties if they use the tools that already exists.

[00:49:04]

Josh Humphrey: That's really good. Something I was talking to someone in another project the other day is how much there's still needs to be translations done for project like wallets or services and so many of them have a very limited group of languages that they translated into and they have allot of people that need to translate into these other languages?

Randy Brito: One thing I wanted to mention to you when you ask how people could actually help Venezuela, this is something I've been trying to do for many years is getting the tools, software and privates to understand that Venezuela is not a regular country and that when they want to, for example, I have this Coinbase Commerce, this is for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies for their products, user-controlled wallet. This is the perfect example of a tool for Venezuelans so Venezuelans can accept cryptocurrencies for their products and services and they don't need to use Coinbase where they cannot even get verify. The merchant tool you've write and that you expect to Venezuelans to use is not even showing the price at the current exchange rate, so they cannot use it, because they cannot set the prices in bolivars and their stores has the prices denominated in bolivars. I don't know how do you see it, but is this Silicon Valley product for the world, they try to help the poor, they to help to everyone but they don't put attention if those poor people and that people they are trying to help are actually even able to use the tools they have coded.

Josh Humphrey: Give me another example, besides the Coinbase thing. You're saying you need more things in bolivars as well or what?

Randy Brito: Yes, for example, I've been trying for many years to get someone to add the Bitcoin-Bolivar actual free market rate, and it is something that if you look up in the internet I have failed to accomplish, since 2012. No one has the actual price of the Bitcoin in bolivars at the actual market rate. They usually use the government control (rate) and the one that Yahoo use for exchange rates. If you get someone in Venezuela to use Litecoin or Ether through Toshi, which is another app that Coinbase funds or Status Messenger which also is an Ethereum wallet. If you would like to send a million bolivars because that's the price of the coffee I'm taking here, I'm not able to use those apps even if I'm use the Venezuelan Bolivar exchange rate they provide I wouldn't be able to do the payment for a million bolivars at current Bitcoin-Bolivar or Ether exchange rate, the real one, because the coder didn't took the time to understand that the price or the exchange rate provided by Yahoo or whatever, Google exchange rate or open exchange rate is not the actual exchange rate of that currency in that country. So, adoption, not only comes because the tools exists is also because the tools are useful, so that's one of the things I'm trying to do and been trying to do, trying to localize the app so people can use it and if they are able to use it just as they found out Amazon Giftcards were a better way to extra income they'd make instead of keeping that in bolivars, they will also found out that they can pay others with these apps, denominating the prices in bolivars so it's easy and not only easy but also compliant with the non-sense regulations in the country so they can pay other in bolivars despite they are actually sending others cryptocurrencies which is a hard currency.

[00:54:20]

Josh Humphrey: So where will I find the free market price of Bitcoin? How would you figured that out?

Randy Brito: You can see it at BitcoinVenezuela.com and it is currently based on the market of LocalBitcoins. It is only based on LocalBitcoins because that's the only exchange operating in the country. There isn't any other right now operating in bolivars, so we cannot take them into the calculation but if there is any in the future and that new ones are actually free, not government control regulated exchange, they could be added to the calculation of the Bolivar. What I have seen from people looking for the price of one Bitcoin everywhere in the world is how much does it cost to buy one right now if I give you the money? And that's translated into an exchange, that is the result of a market order buy in exchange which would take liquidity from the makers, that's what I have use from LocalBitcoins to make the price that you can see there which is how much does it cost a Bitcoin if I buy it right now instantly with bolivars.

Josh Humphrey: So, your website is BitcoinVenezuela.com and the twitter is, what?

Randy Brito: @btcven

Josh Humphrey: Anything else you wanted to talk about or say to the listeners before we have to let you go?

Randy Brito: I would like to thank you for inviting me here and if there is anything we could help with promoting this information that you want to share, count on us and also in the community of Bitcoin Venezuela will help you to spread the word about your podcast but also about any other project that you may think could help Venezuelans to have more freedom and also to regain their liberties and the current situation there.

Josh Humphrey: Randy, thank you so much for coming on. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys there. Any time you think of something that you feel like the rest of the community could help you out with either you directly or someone that you know, feel free to let me know and I'll let my listeners know.

Randy Brito: Great! Thank you.


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What’s going on in Venezuela? - Bottomshelf Bitcoin [Episode 19][Transcription]
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