Venezuela’s bolivar, from banknote to children’s toys

Venezuela’s bolivar, from banknote to children’s toys

For the third time in 13 years, Venezuela has cut zeros on its inflation-ravaged currency, the bolivar. This time it will lose six zeros, for a total of 14 since 2008. That makes one million bolivars one overnight – still the equivalent of about 25 cents. Venezuela’s central bank last month announced the move to simplify transactions, with consumers rushing to pay for even the most basic goods or services. According to private sector estimates, about two-thirds of transactions in the country are now done in US dollars. Old banknotes that are now worth next to nothing have become children’s toys or are lying on the streets all over the country. The once-wealthy oil producer is battling its eighth year of recession and hyperinflation reaching nearly 3,000 percent in 2020 and more than 9,500 percent the year before, according to central bank figures.

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