Venezuela’s failed cryptocurrency experiment

Fighting hyperinflation with a state-backed cryptocurrency. What could possibly go wrong?

What happens when an authoritarian regime that controls every aspect of an economy creates a currency based on decentralization, free movement, and transparency? This is the explosive true story behind the world's first state-backed cryptocurrency.


A country-wide crypto experiment gone wrong

How many state governments do you know who'd put their faith in a cryptocurrency to level out hyperinflation and stop nation-wide riots? Not many, probably. And yet, that's exactly what Venezuala did to reinvigorate its economy amid financial carnage. Truthfully though, they didn't do too many of the hard yards. Instead, they supported entrepreneur Gabriel Jimenez to create the petro (₽), or petromoneda – the world's first state-backed cryptocurrency.

But as you can expect, when an authoritarian regime meets tech based on decentralization, there will be fireworks. As part of Tomorrow Unlocked's Coded series three, (now launching on Freethink) episode four focuses on entrepreneur and crypto-expert Gabriel Jimenez's journey from national hero to enemy of the state. Brace yourself for this one.

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