Venezuela has launched a new currency with six fewer zeros on Friday. This move comes after the country’s currency has been rendered almost worthless following years of the world’s worst inflation.
The new notes are difficult to come about in the nation’s capital where resident’s fears that prices could spike even further following the currency change came to pass.
“Today, I went to the supermarket and everything was marked in dollars,” Lourdes Pórtelo, an office worker, told AP News in a shopping center on the east side of Caracas. “In the end, I couldn’t buy anything, I didn’t have enough money.”
In the days before the transition, Venezuela’s highest denomination was a 1 million bolivar bill, which was worth a little less than a quarter as of Thursday.
The new currency’s highest denomination is 100 bolivars, which is worth a little less than US$25. Analysts expect that this rate will hold only for a while before inflation begins to eat into that also.
“The most important and fundamental reason is that the payment systems are already collapsed because the number of digits make the payment systems and doing the math practically unmanageable,” said Jose Guerra, an economics professor at the Central University of Venezuela. “These debit card payment processing systems or an accounting system for companies… are not intended for hyperinflation, but for a normal economy.”
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