BITCOIN BUREAUCRATS

Why oppressive rulers love cryptocurrency

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In Venezuela, where inflation is so high that the money is basically useless, cryptocurrency offered an opportunity. It operates outside the global financial system and despite its price fluctuations, it’s still a better investment than the Bolívar.

Blockchain technology was built to decentralize governments and the power of financial institutions, but it’s also become an appealing tool for authoritarian rulers.

In the first episode of Quartz News, Preeti Varathan looks at how president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, is creating a state-run cryptocurrency, the Petro, to try to maintain his government’s grip on power.

Quartz News is a weekly video series bringing you in-depth reporting from around the world. Each episode investigates one story, breaking down the often unseen economic and technological forces shaping our future.

Click here for previous stories.