2017-04-20 17:41:05 UTC
Why some Venezuelans have turned to bitcoin mining
In 2005, Randy Brito, aged 14, and his family fled Venezuela.
Back then, the country's oil-based economy was still booming. But under President Hugo Chavez's socialist agenda, widespread nationalisations and takeovers of private enterprises compelled many middle-class families such as Brito's to leave.
In 2011, while browsing the internet, Brito discovered the world of bitcoin on a dedicated forum.
A post described "bitcoin mining", a fully decentralised process where "miners" compete by making their computing power available to process and confirm transactions coming from a peer-to-peer network.
Miners who perform faster transactions earn transaction fees paid by other users, while, in turn, new bitcoins are issued into existence.
The next year, Brito founded Bitcoin Venezuela as an educational forum to spread knowledge about the digital cryptocurrency.
"At the time, there were maximum 10 profiles on the internet talking about bitcoin in Venezuela," Brito says.
The platform expanded quickly and today has a community of more than 7,000 users. It serves as a beacon for a fast-growing digital currency mining community in a country mired in an economic crisis.
Knowledge will set you free
El conocimiento te hará libre