In the second nationwide power outage in Venezuela, the majority of the country went offline.
On Thursday, the first electrical blackout swept across the country that left Venezuela with just about two percent of connectivity.
Twitter, YouTube, & SoundCloud Blocked
Amidst the ongoing presidential crisis, most of the county has been offline since Thursday with little to no connectivity. UK-based NetBlock Group, a private internet watchdog organization reported that 96 percent of the country was offline on Saturday.
Update: New data shows profound and sustained impact on #Venezuela's telecommunications infrastructure after second nationwide power outage with 96% of country remaining offline #SinLuz #ApagonNacional #9Mar ⬇️https://t.co/U2wV1aJihu pic.twitter.com/ejO8wsMto2
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) March 9, 2019
The country has been experiencing frequent power cuts as, since 2018, Venezuela started power rationing because of economic crisis. But, according to NetBlocks, this nationwide outage has been unprecedented in “magnitude, extent, and duration.”
It has been reported on March 4th, that the Venezuelan government had blocked SoundCloud, and YouTube while partially blocked Twitter. The organization had explained:
“The restrictions have been implemented as the leader calls supporters to the streets under the hashtags #4MVzlaALaCalle, #VamosVzla, and #VamosJuntosALaCalle.”
Experts warned for months that years of #MaduroRegime negligence would lead to this collapse of electricity system. And regime does not have the expertise to fix it.
If massive amounts of aid isn’t delivered very soon, I fear we are headed for an unprecedented catastrophe.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 10, 2019
Bitcoin: the Lifeboat Amidst Rising Inflation
The country is going through political and economic crisis while experiencing hyperinflation. In times like these, as an alternative form of currency, Bitcoin and Dash emerged and experienced increased adoption.
Peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins also registered a hike in Bitcoin trading volume throughout last year and costly hit new records in 2019.
1. Venezuela 2,688,670%
2. Iran 399%
3. South Sudan 117%
4. Argentina 47%
5. Congo 41%
6. Libya 32%
7. Angola 30%
8. Sudan 26%
9. Syria 25%
Bitcoin is the lifeboat. 🚣♂️
— Alec Ziupsnys (@AlecZiupsnys) March 6, 2019
Bitcoin surely is a potential alternative but not exactly a complete solution as one Redditor share:
“Bitcoin is a cool idea. But we're literally seeing what happens when places don't have basic INFRASTRUCTURE to support it.
The UX of Bitcoin is HORRID. Do you really think the common person in Venezuela is tech savvy to A) have crypto B) find a local business who accepts it C) Can charge their mobile phone, then find an internet connection and use it.”
He further added, “And if you think the common person knows how to navigate the lightning network or the super obscure satellite network, you're dreaming. BTC's UX is a MASSIVE barrier to adoption in places of political strife. I'm a supporter of BTC. But it ain't the answer yet.”
While another one said:
“Bitcoin might help a few, but during SHTF, nothing can be counted on. The good quality about bitcoin though, is at least it will be there, when the power gets restored/internet, or you leave the area to a sane location.”