Countries in Latin America have taken to the cryptocurrency market due to the problems they face with their national currencies. Venezuela was a major example in this department, taking its citizens to crypto to avoid Bolivar’s crumbling.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently took to the public forum to inform that the government would be raising the minimum wage in the country by a 100 percent. While the figure looks good on paper, the ground reality was that the new wage will only amount to a measly $2.
The incumbent government revealed its latest decision in line with the country’s tradition of raising wages before Labor Day on May 1. As per the latest overhaul, the daily wage earners will now earn a minimum of 400,000 bolivars from the earlier 250,000 bolivars. Comparing the hike to Venezuela’s official cryptocurrency, Petro, it was noticed that the figure would jump to 0.039 or 0.0003 BTC.
Venezuelans have been clamouring for an increase in the daily wage for a long time and the new change is not expected to do a lot for their morale. Analysts claimed that 0.0039 petros is only enough to buy one kilogram of meat, a far cry from obtaining other basic necessities. A litre of edible oil costs $1 while a kilogram of rice is priced the same. An on-ground report stated:
“To acquire the 27 basic products regulated by the government, a Venezuelan needs $ 32.65 or 5.58 million bolivars at the official exchange rate of April 25, 171,072 Bs./$. The amount is equivalent to 22 minimum wages, which since January is located at 250,000 bolivars, or 1.4 dollars at the BCV rate.”
The latest value may be confusing to a lot of people, because Petro, linked to daily wages, was not the same as Petro’s cryptocurrency. The second Petro acts just as a unit of account and has not inherent connection with the national cryptocurrency. This is why the monthly minimum wage was set at 40,000, which is roughly $2.
Nicholas Maduro’s government had initially promised that the daily wages would be hiked to 0.5 which was equivalent to almost $30. The premier had instructed his cabinet to carry forward the changes which came to nothing because of internal conflicts within his cabinet. Citizens came out in droves to protest the decision as it was a total u-turn from what was promised.
Reports stated that the promised raise would have been at least 10 times the new minimum wage, something that the struggling people of the country did not take lightly. The current predicament was another black mark for Petro as it only seemed to increase the people’s problems rather than alleviate it. The Center of Documentation and Analysis for Workers said that a family would need 77 times the current wage to sustain their needs.