Bitcoin Interest (BCI) Launches Food Charity Drive in Venezuela
The ongoing financial crisis in Venezuela has significantly tainted the country’s reputation. Inflation is too high that people are throwing away money on the streets of Caracas, the nation's capital. Mow, a little-known cryptocurrency association called Bitcoin Interest (BCI) has initiated a drive to help Venezuelans.
— Bitcoin Interest (@btcinterest) April 10, 2019
The economy of Venezuela is nearly collapsing because of the massive hyperinflation in the country. Residents have lost faith in the local currency and the quality of is life is declining. Similarly, the government opted to introduce their own cryptocurrency instead of solving the issues facing the bolivar. The coin, known as Petro, was introduced by President Nicolas Maduro in February 2018 as a solution to the already plummeting economy.
A year after the launch of Petro, the economic situation in Venezuela has only worsened. The monumental failure is attributed to many reasons, with the main one being the absence of the 60 million barrels on which the value of the cryptocurrency was to be pegged. This is because of the widespread corruption both in the government and in the body that oversees petroleum production.
Amidst this doom and gloom, there appears to be a glimmer of hope – BCI is using Bitcoin to provide support to Venezuelans affected by the economic crisis. The organization has started a social media campaign under the hashtag #FoodNotLambos, which encourages crypto investors to use their profits to buy food for the impoverished instead of buying posh Lamborghinis.
The philanthropic initiative by BCI is conducted by sending Bitcoin to an official living in Venezuela. This money is then converted into fiat by ‘Carlos,’ who then buys food and water. BCI has also made arrangements with local merchants who sell the foodstuff to Carlos at discounted prices.
In addition, Carlos has rallied like-minded individuals who offered resources for the transportation of the relief food. BCI confirmed that the food was delivered by 9 April. However, the delivery was interrupted by Venezuelan officials who wanted to know if the US was involved in the project. Given that the Trump administration has issues with Venezuela, any input by the American government would have jeopardized the efforts put in by BCI.
The BCI charity drive has received widespread support on various social media. BCI came into existence after a grad fork on the Bitcoin blockchain early last year. It is listed on the Bitfinex trading platform. Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency has struggled to attract investors, with some calling it a scam after it plummeted from a record $23.04 to a paltry $0.131.