Venezuela is a country gripped in a state no different than a civil war. What happens to a country whose economic stability has long vanished, where politicians fight, not for its citizens, but amongst each other? Well, you guess is as good as mine…
The sole reason Venezuelan public has survived for so long in this economic and political mess is due to the entry of cryptocurrencies like Dash and Bitcoin.
In a recent interview, CEO of Dash, Ryan Taylor, explained the role Dash has played in helping Venezuelan citizens to somewhat lead their routine lives.
The adoption and impact of Dash, owing mostly to its cheap and fast transaction network, and largely due to the super-inflated local currency Bolivar, which is hardly viable for use anymore, has been unprecedented.
Taylor recalls that Dash started out on a very small scale among the local community but gained traction as its use and purpose became more defined to the Venezuelan public. This factor, he says, led to ‘a recognition of a bigger market in store for us.’
Dash first made its appearance in 2016 via a financial service provider called Cyptobuyer, which was already established in the country. Taylor noted that there was a need to establish a market for the already present demand within Venezuela.
“We recognized that there would be demand there, and there would be an opportunity for us, so we laid the infrastructure to allow that to happen.”
Dash has been integrated by the local merchants into their lives at an extremely rapid rate, with the number going up from 600, at the start of 2018, to 2,700 according to present data.
Taylor stresses that his firm spent a lot of time in educating merchants of how Dash could benefit them over their own crumbling payments system.
The merchants, on their own part, decided to adopt this alternative form of currency and have never looked back.
“They [the merchants] did it because it is not just because of the currency, the currency is a big reason, but what we discovered was there are other problems with the payment system there.”
Another reason Dash has been so successful in its adoption drive is perhaps because of the remittance payments being offered by the crypto, which in Bolivars, would be practically of no value.
The Dash CEO said:
“Over 30,000 people are crossing the border every day, they are doing it out of desperation. They need to send money back to their family. Sending through the bank takes a significant amount of time and high fees. If they have a currency that is digital and useable at merchants throughout the country, then that solves a real problem for them. […] I’ve had people tell me that Dash has saved their lives.”
Dash has helped many overcome the hyperinflation of Bolivar but still its community remains small and to be adopted as an alternative payments system in Venezuela, a proper architecture remains to be established.