Venezuelans will now be able to use the number one crypto, Bitcoin, to pay for their passport fees throughout the besieged South American country. A Twitter user posted a screenshot of the Venezuelan Immigration portal accepting Bitcoin as a mode of payment.
It appears the Ministry in charge of the country’s Internal Relations, Justice and Peace have resolved to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Many economic pundits now have taken to social media to argue the government’s decision, claiming it might have been influenced by the ban of most credit card companies from operating in the country.
Earlier this year, the US department in charge of Visa and Mastercard operations in Venezuela failed to renew their license after it expired on 20th March 2020.
Venezuela and Cryptocurrency
While the Venezuelan Government has been more than open-minded towards the adoption of cryptocurrency than most countries, many people did not expect this move.
According to the country’s official immigration website, individuals wishing to pay their passport fees will only have 8 minutes to fulfill the Bitcoin transaction. It also appears that the rate applied by SAIME, the government’s official immigration portal, is inexpensive compared to Bitcoin’s actual value.
While the number one cryptocurrency is now an official payment option for passport renewals only, many observers are speculating the country might start accepting Bitcoin for other day-to-day activities.
Hyperinflation in the Country
Venezuela has been suffering from hyperinflation for seven years now, resulting in the local bolivar depreciating rapidly in value. The local currency is almost getting obsolete following the over 2500 percent inflation rate.
Seeing the need for a stronger currency, many Venezuelans are switching to virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Dash. This is a clear indication that cryptocurrency is quickly emerging as a reliable option for the medium of exchange and store of value activities in the South American country.