Venezuela vs. Guyana: Does Maduro Need Bitcoin More Than Oil?

Thu 30 Nov 2023 ▪ 4 min of reading ▪ by Mikaia A.
Getting informed Invest

Things are heating up between Venezuela and Guyana right now. The reason? Nicolás Maduro wants to reclaim Essequibo, a territory awarded to the British in 1899 following a “partial” decision by the judges of the time. Burdened by massive inflation, Venezuela needs to find other alternatives to get its economy back on track. And if that means the annexation of 2/3 of Guyana, where there are oil and other mineral resources, so be it.

Arm-wrestling vector, Guyana and Venezuela flags, "Essequibo" logo

Soon a referendum on Essequibo

With its colossal energy resources (coal, hydrocarbons, uranium, etc.), Russia quickly understood that bitcoin mining would be beneficial as the most sanctioned country in the world. And their efforts seem to be paying off as they currently hold the second place among the superpowers of BTC mining.

As for Venezuela, currently holding 1/5th of the world’s crude oil reserves, this option has unfortunately been ruled out by the regime. For now, the Maduro government is focused on expanding its territory.

Essequibo, the Venezuelan Crimea?

Recently, news outlets have reported on a referendum in which Venezuelans will have to decide on the fate of Essequibo. If the YES vote wins, the inhabitants of this territory once belonging to Venezuela will be granted Venezuelan citizenship. And at the same time, they would see the creation of the department of “Guyana Esequiba.”

Why annex a 160,000 km2 territory when Maria Corina Machado, Maduro’s main opponent, is against it? Why question the competence of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and by extension the UN?

In fact, “it has oil deposits, minerals, and rich river basins,” specifies France24.

This extensive Twitter thread by Louis Duclos, a geopolitical analyst, will certainly teach you a lot more about Maduro’s motivation and the dynamics of this annexation of Essequibo.

Venezuela and bitcoin, a difficult symbiosis?

The top 10 countries most affected by inflation by CNews puts Venezuela in first place. With price increases nearing 430% in April 2023 (234% in 2022 and 686.4% in 2021), the incumbent president, Nicolás Maduro, is increasingly challenged by his people. Polls give him very little chance of winning the 2024 presidential elections.

And yet, other neighboring countries facing the same problems, such as Argentina, are not hesitant to turn to cryptocurrencies to deal with inflation. With a new anti-system president recently elected, Javier Milei, this Latin American country expects that other alternatives like bitcoin (and the dollar) may pull them out of the mud.

Can Venezuela find salvation in bitcoin? El Salvador, the first country to legalize the queen of cryptocurrencies, is not far away. And the Maduro government can learn from its experiences. Unless it persists in its policy promoting “21st century socialism” initiated by the late President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. In that case, its financial regulator Sunacrip will continue to impose increased surveillance of cryptocurrency transactions.

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Mikaia A. avatar
Mikaia A.

La révolution blockchain et crypto est en marche ! Et le jour où les impacts se feront ressentir sur l’économie la plus vulnérable de ce Monde, contre toute espérance, je dirai que j’y étais pour quelque chose


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.