In a new interview with NPR, Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University and former economics advisor to both US President Reagan and Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera, discusses his a campaign to raise money for Venezuelans.
Dubbed “Airdrop Venezuela”, the campaign accepts 15 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Bitcoin Cash, and has netted over $279,000 in donations since launching last November.
“Well, our objective is to have 100,000 people verified that would qualify to receive donations. Right now we’re at 60,000. We’ve collected $272,000 to date, and the objective is to get to $1 million. So we’ll have $1 million, and we’ll have 100,000 Venezuelans receiving equal portions of that. And we’ll probably be delivering in August.”
Crypto that gets donated to the campaign goes to the AirTM platform and is distributed directly to qualified Venezuelans via active cryptocurrency wallets on their smartphones. The effort highlights how effective cryptocurrencies are at offering a way to distribute money without the need to disburse checks, generate long lines, involve paperwork or interact with legacy financial institutions or the government.
“Well, this is what most people probably will do – go to the AirTM platform and exchange the cryptocurrencies that they’ve received in their wallet for real money that they can use to buy things. And the real money would, in most cases, be U.S. dollars.
When the currency in your country is literally melting in your hand and – knowing that, the key is getting people hard currency that they can actually use to purchase something. And so that was the general attraction. And the technology of using this Internet platform is just what the doctor ordered.”
The highest number of contributions, by a long shot, have been in Bitcoin Cash, with 670.73 BCH raised worth an estimated $196,443. Bitcoin donations total 2.664, worth roughly $14,352.62, while 14.6 ETH donations total $2,526 and 493.348 XRP total $159.
People from anywhere in the world can send the following cryptocurrencies.
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Binance Coin
Venezuela continues to endure political and economic strife as opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the self-declared interim president backed by the US, Canada, France and Germany, among many other countries, battles President Nicolás Maduro’s for control of the country.
Russian news agency TASS reports that Guaido’s representatives are scheduled to meet with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo on April 27. At a press conference on Monday, the opposition leader’s representatives said that a diplomatic blockade on Maduro’s government is proceeding very swiftly.
Constant power outages in #Venezuela are affecting residents of Zulia, one of the worst hit states in the west of the country where public services and local businesses have been forced to shut down #UNews pic.twitter.com/XADQd3ijt3
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) April 22, 2019
Violent protests, power outages, hunger and outrage have plunged 31 millions Venezuelans into social unrest amid a humanitarian crisis, an alleged coup and hyperinflation that has tanked the national currency. Nearly two million people have fled to neighboring Brazil and Colombia.
Percentage of people who do not feel safe walking alone at night where they live:
🇸🇻El Salvador 72%
🇩🇴Dominican Republic 67%
🇿🇦South Africa 63%
🇲🇷Mauritania 61% pic.twitter.com/oOZRHVEktE
— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) April 22, 2019
According to a documentary by the Dash community, Venezuela and Colombia lead the crypto revolution in Latin America.