Published On: Fri, Aug 25th, 2017

Bitcoin army: More Venezuelans mining for cryptocurrency

The South American country has plunged into economic despair, with surging inflation and a lack of basic goods hitting families.

At the same time, the value of bitcoin has surged and recently hit more than $4,000 a coin.

The cryptocurrency holds its value because there are limited numbers of the coins, which are mined through a complex coding programmes.

The majority of bitcoins have been mined are hard to come by and take large amounts of power to find.

In Venezuela, however, electricity is one of the services that remains affordable because it is heavily subsidised by the government.

Coupled with the rising value of bitcoin and large numbers of people are hunting for the precious digital coins, according to reports.

The profits are a small fortune to people in the country.

Recently, authorities have been trying to crackdown on booming bitcoin mining operations, according to the Atlantic.

Some people have been arrested for energy theft.

This has pushed the community to mine rival cryptocurrencies, such as ether (ETH).

A Venezuelan miner told the Atlantic: “Mining ETH or bitcoin is pretty much the same principle: using free electricity to generate cash.

“But ETH mining is more affordable—all you need is free software and a PC with a video card.

“Any police officer is easily fooled into thinking your ETH miner is just a regular computer.”

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