How Venezuelans use stablecoins every day to protect their livelihoods
How Venezuelans use stablecoins every day to protect their livelihoods. Customers of the stablecoin payment app Reserve prove that they rely on the technology for daily transactions.
Last month, Coin interviewed Reserve CEO Nevin Freeman and the community manager of the decentralized payment app Yens Michiels about the company’s mission to provide access to stablecoins. Recently, Cointelegraph spoke to several users from Venezuela and Colombia who shared their positive experiences with Reserve.
The reserve is an instrument used to exchange fiat currencies such as Venezuelan bolivares for US dollars via the reserve stablecoin (RSV). From everyday shopping to family transfers, Reserve says its use cases are increasing in Latin America. After one year of presence in the Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Argentina markets, we More than 100,000 app visitors per week and over 8,000 merchants accept it as a method of payment.
Sasha Antunez and Alicia Stephany are two reserve customers who shared their views on the role of the app in their daily life and the economic situation in Venezuela. Antunez is a neurologist living in Maracay, Venezuela who calls himself a “Reserve Ranger” who uses the reserve at home and at work. Stephany is a Venezuelan living in Bogota, Colombia. She uses the reserve to support her family members who are still living in Venezuela.
Antunez explains how she uses her reserve for everyday expenses:
“I have saved the reserve amount in the app. Let’s say I have to go to the grocery store and have about $ 20. I’m doing the exchange so I have Bolivare in my bank account and can pay for everything in the supermarket. But I also know that I can take my bolivares, convert them to reserve dollars, and then convert them to USDT. ”
Most customers use it to save money. If they are paid in their local currency, there is no need to worry about their devaluation in US dollars. And if they need to buy something in local currency, as Antunez described, they can always exchange it back or pay directly in the RSV stablecoin if the merchant accepts. Most don’t even know it has to do with crypto like Stephany does.
“The Venezuelan bolivar is depreciating so quickly that if you have a bolivar you need to exchange it as soon as possible to protect it,” she explains, adding that if she were in Colombia and her father was in Venezuela “I had to” pay for his things, then instead of just exchanging the things I needed at the supermarket, I was always looking for someone who could buy more dollars from me. So I convinced people from the supermarket and pharmacy that I use to download reserve. ”
Related: Venezuela International Airport Accepts Bitcoin Payments: Report
To make it easier to calculate, the government introduced the third renaming of the currency in October, the third since 2008. However, the economy was increasingly informally dollarized. This means that prices in stores are in dollars, which is the black market rate and not the official exchange rate as more and more merchants are using PayPal, Cell or now Project.store. With reserves, users can exchange currencies at rates close to those of the central bank.
Coupled with this volatility with hyperinflation, people’s confidence in the government and the banking system is sure to increase. When asked about the prospects for an improvement in Venezuela’s economy, Antunez said:
“I believe technology will play an important role because cryptocurrencies enable financial freedom and free access for all. So we need to do this by giving people the tools to protect their money. We don’t have any solutions here, at least not now. And I don’t see any improvement in things. In the meantime, we’re just trying to protect the little money we make from our work. “
At the time of publication, the project’s iPhone app was the most downloaded app in the Venezuelan app store in the Finance category. Binance and MetaMask, two other crypto trading apps, are also in the top 10.