Amid a country embroiled in hyperinflation and humanitarian crises, a 23 year old Venezuelan has learned how to mine bitcoin to the tune of $1,200 per day. In Venezuela the price of electricity is quite low, generating an arbitrage opportunity for miners.
Alberto and Luis are typical of the growing number of Venezuelans using bitcoin to put food on the table. Some are even using it to purchase goods from foreign suppliers to keep their businesses running. In more than a dozen interviews, members of the community—some of whom are miners, and others who simply use the currency—described how this technology has alleviated daily hardships, making it possible for them to live reasonably comfortable lives despite the disintegrating society. Many bitcoin users live in constant fear of being discovered and agreed to speak with Reason only on the condition of anonymity.