Can Blockchain Help Rebuild Venezuela?

Photo: Medium, retrieved.

Last month, the biggest names in crypto and blockchain technology gathered in New York City for the yearly NYC Blockchain Week and at Consensus, the flagship conference with over 4,000 attendees, one of the most anticipated workshop sessions focused on Venezuela.

Bringing together experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss if, and how, blockchain technology can be useful for Venezuela’s recovery, four promising fields were studied: humanitarian aid, digital identity, data transfer and e-government.

Let’s break each one down:


Prominent economists have estimated the cost of rebuilding Venezuela to be $15 billion a year, or $80 billion over several years. Beyond economic recovery packages, Venezuela and the surrounding countries impacted by the migrant crisis need funds in the form of humanitarian aid. Local efforts accept cryptocurrency donations from around the world and use those funds to purchase food and run community pantries in Venezuela. This model could scale to larger NGOs receiving humanitarian aid from international bodies. Blockchain and cryptocurrency models may be powerful tools to deliver aid transparently both at local and state levels.

Key stakeholders: Venezuelans living inside the country, migrants and refugees, receiving communities, OAS and multilateral bodies who can support implementation of humanitarian aid, NGOs.

Opportunities: With hyperinflation, Venezuelans turn toward digital money; four million Venezuelans abroad are sending remittances, which could include cryptocurrencies, effectively bypassing Maduro’s exchange controls. For Venezuelan migrants and refugees in dire socio-economic conditions abroad, digital currencies can also be of huge help, especially as they transition from country to country.

Challenges: Adoption is not guaranteed, as key stakeholders are wary of new forms of digital money. The key challenge is to…

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