Seven o'clock at night, delay in the Caracas Metro. The car, whose air conditioning broke down months ago, was stopped more than twenty minutes ago in the underground tunnel that connects the stations Bellas Artes and Parque Carabobo. It is hell in life: overcrowded, humid and claustrophobic. Passengers snort, cough, complain about the heat. I try to distract myself by looking at the reflection in the window, while begging for the train to reach the platform as soon as possible. It's an ordinary day, the daily life of a Caracas resident on foot.
In the midst of human warmth and bad humor, my eyes glide over people and their personal objects. I search, I inquire, I try to get something interesting to entertain my mind. Anxious despair has surely sharpened my senses, for within minutes a coin shines like gold in a dark barrack. He made an accurate bling that captures my attention. From the pocket of a middle-aged man stands out a key ring in the shape of a Bitcoin coin.
The situation I just told you happened to me a few weeks ago on the Caracas Metro and left such a strong impression on me that it has led me to write these lines. Round, discreet, with no greatness. Bitcoin was, as we say in Venezuela, another coroto inside that train. That is to say, an object with no apparent value. But, between poverty and human fatigue, this small object stood out for those who know its meaning.
The adoption of Bitcoin in Venezuela is similar to that key ring that appears from the pocket of a stranger. It goes unnoticed inside a train full of people, but it is still there.
I am very curious about the way bitcoiners perceive the market in Venezuela. I have read certain tuits that make me think that there is a matrix of exaggerated and unreal opinion about the use of Bitcoin in the Caribbean country.
Not only is it said that Venezuela has the world's largest buying and selling market (which is not true) but it is also believed that the government's interest in cryptoactives has boosted the use of crypto currency on Venezuelan streets.
Maybe I am wrong, but this type of advertisement makes me think of a utopian nation where Bitcoin is a common word and its use is normalized. The reality in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities is very different, much more difficult to understand.
Bitcoin awakens curiosity
Although there are Venezuelans who buy bitcoins as a method of safeguarding value and have begun to accept it in their businesses, the use of crypto currency in everyday life is still a rarity. However, the wake of cryptomonedas is beginning to have an impact on everyday life. Little by little, like that key ring that stands out in the middle of the chaos of the Caracas subway, Bitcoin's signs appear unnoticed in everyday life.
A café in downtown Caracas, your neighbor's Christmas dinner, or the university dining room may be the ideal setting for Bitcoin to be featured in a commentary. It has happened to me on several occasions that walking down a Caracas street I hear, by pure chance, a conversation about crypto-mining. It may be that, because I am somehow influenced and enchanted by this subject, I have a keen ear for the word Bitcoin; but there is no doubt that Venezuelans are interested in this technology.
I consider curiosity to be one of the main motives of these conversations. The ordinary citizen does not understand Bitcoin, the more he wants to know how it works as more and more people have started to use these financial tools. For example, at a narrative event held a few months ago, a well-known person confessed to me that he wanted to know more about (that Bitcoin everyone is talking about).
I did not know that I have a little knowledge on the subject, but as soon as I found out I was bombarded with a merry-go-round of questions. how do you use it, who accepts it, on what is its value based? why does everyone talk about it? they flew from one side to the other. After answering all his questions, he looked at me very seriously and said: (I need to make an appointment just to talk about this. I have a lot more questions). I agreed with pleasure.
Beyond the fact that Bitcoin is a well-known theme in Venezuelan society due to its increasingly widespread use and the launch of the Petro, it is true that cities like Caracas are beginning to wear the symbol of ₿. In the highway that connects the southeast with the west of the city you can find multiple billboards where they offer services of buying and selling bitcoins nationwide.
The huge color ads with bitcoins falling in the form of rain on beautiful models attract the attention of drivers, who in the midst of road congestion have fun watching the advertising.
The image is at first out of tune, in a country where most do not use bitcoins but dollars as a method of safeguarding value. However, it is a silent reminder that the use of crypto coins in Venezuela tends to become a known activity, which in the future will probably cease to go unnoticed.
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