Cryptocurrency mining has become an important source of income in Venezuela, a country ravaged by hyperinflation, but it has also become hazardous as police are cracking down on people they suspect of using too much electricity. Venezuelans have turned to cryptocurrencies as inflation has ravaged the official bolivar, which has lost 99.4% of its value since 2012. As a result, mining has become more lucrative, and a way for people to earn money to pay for basic living expenses, according to CNBC.
One miner, who agreed to speak only anonymously, became a miner because his $43 monthly salary couldn’t support his family. He began mining illegally by using government computers where he worked, and eventually quit his government job to mine at home. Another miner who has since fled to the U.S. said mining kept him out of poverty in Venezuela. He said one mining rig will produce enough income to feed a family. Another woman who works three jobs said mining produces 80% of her $120 monthly income. She said mining has allowed her to support herself and her daughter.
While mining has become a necessity to many, it has also become dangerous since it is illegal and police arrest people they suspect of using too much electricity. Subsidized electricity in Venezuela keeps the cost of mining down, but the government monitors its use carefully.
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