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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

5 Venezuelan startups innovating crypto

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Contxto – At a current rate of 10,398 percent, hyperinflation is choking the value of the bolivar in Venezuela. Food shortages are the norm and the government spends a good chunk of its time insisting that everything is under control—always a clear sign that everything is not under control.

The economic turmoil hitting the country has caused over 4 million Venezuelans to go abroad since 2015, according to the United Nations. It is the largest single exodus in Latin American history.

Yet adversity is the mother of invention.  

Residing in their native country or not, Venezuelans are developing innovative cryptocurrency-related solutions. An essential tool in a country where often groceries are paid with wheelbarrows of cash. Through their efforts tech is providing financial answers to an uncertain economic future.

Mercury Cash

This startup may be located in the United States and have Europe’s good blessings to operate, but its roots and its leadership are Venezuelan. Mercury Cash’s growing network allows for crypto exchange in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dash, and fiat assets. It currently has over 10,000 users of which 90 percent are in Latin America.

Locha Mesh

Power outages and faulty infrastructure are hazardous to Bitcoin trade in Venezuela. Internet connectivity is often lost. This is why Locha Mesh offers open-source hardware and software to create a mesh network for internet-free communication and Bitcoin trade. This project aims to enable encrypted communication and transactions as well as meet market maturity by mid-2020.

El Dorado

This P2P (peer-to-peer) platform aims to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies between users. El Dorado is also prepped to receive or send remittances to Venezuela and other parts of the world. In the crypto community, network building is also massively important, so community and cross-collaboration havebeen factored into their platform. Note that the startup’s CEO stated in a July interview that El Dorado is in a crowdfunding phase, but aims to launch soon. Don’t tune off.

Cryptobuyer

Like Mercury Cash, Cryptobuyer is located outside its Venezuelan founder’s native country. From its adoptive home in Panama, this startup completes crypto exchanges for Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and, coming soon, Spain. One of its recent endeavors was the launch of a CryptoCard pilot program in Venezuela.

Capybara Exchange

For many Venezuelans, the transaction fee on crypto exchange platforms can make or break their participation. With that in mind, Capybara Exchange, through its beta version platform, seeks to offer quick transactions from Bytecoins and other cryptocurrencies to Venezuelan bolivares at an affordable rate.

-ML

Mariana López
Eager learner and fervent asker of existential questions. My topic darlings are startup management, edtech and all things pop-culture. If you don't see me smiling, I'm probably just hungry. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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