Sunday, December 3, 2017

A bold strategy for The Government of Venezuela: buy Bitcoin

The promise of eliminating runaway inflation by irresponsible governments was one of the major reasons I became interested in Bitcoin. I always imagined that a country like Venezuela or Zimbabwe would be the first to switch away from their fiat currency and adopt Bitcoin. Today, Venezuela announced that they are trying to launch their own cryptocurrency, the Petro. I imagine President Maduro saying: "I have an idea: let's combine all the security risks of cryptocurrencies (theft, lost wallets, etc) with the monetary policy of the Government of Venezuela." To him I say: good luck with that!

I have an alternative. The Govt of Venezuela should buy large amounts of Bitcoin. If they put 15% of their resources into buying bitcoins and another 15% into mining bitcoins, they would become the first country to have BTC as their official currency. They have the power to make Bitcoin price skyrocket. They should do this in secret. If they delay the official announcement, then with the backing of a large government, Bitcoin price will skyrocket, and the government that buys at a low price will have made a direct profit on that investment after the official announcement. Venezuela could be a global version of the "the rich get richer." Furthermore, the investment in mining equipment that I am suggesting will be an investment into the future, as future Bitcoin mining will profit more from the transaction fee than they will from the raw currency creation. This would position Venezuela as a global processor of transactions, resulting in a net trade surplus due to skimming profits from international transactions. Ironically, the instability of the Bolivar makes it possible for Venezuela to profit immensely. They could turn their weakness into a strength. A country with a stable currency wouldn't have the political will to attempt such a bold (but in my opinion profitable) strategy.

Instead, what will probably happen is a bunch of Venezuelan politicians will flirt with some ideas and then possibly launch the next Dogecoin that has the same inflation problems as their existing currency and the Government of Venezuela will miss a golden opportunity.

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