by Doug Casey, Casey Research:
You’ll never guess the world’s most expensive city.
It’s not Zurich. It’s not Tokyo. It’s not Seoul, either.
No. It’s Caracas, Venezuela. Strange, huh? After all, Venezuela isn’t a rich country. It’s in the Third World.
But there’s a simple reason why Caracas tops this list.
• Inflation is skyrocketing in Venezuela…
Now, it’s hard to say exactly how high inflation is in Venezuela right now. That’s because the government stopped publishing inflation data two years ago.
But independent economists have been tracking inflation in Venezuela. And the figures they’re reporting are astronomical.
According to Venezuela’s National Assembly, inflation hit 2,616% last year. That means prices for everyday goods and services in Venezuela got around 27 times more expensive in just 12 months.
And the situation has only worsened. On Monday, the National Assembly said that inflation in Venezuela is now running at nearly 24,600% per year.
The bolívar, Venezuela’s currency, is losing value so rapidly that many people can’t afford food or medicine. Some Venezuelans are even selling their own hair just to survive. It’s a tragic situation.
• So Venezuelans are taking shelter in bitcoin…
I know because I met Venezuelans when I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They moved there to escape their country’s economic crisis.
But before they did that, many of the Venezuelans I met exchanged their bolívars for bitcoin. And they certainly weren’t alone. Just look at the chart below. It shows the weekly bitcoin trading volume in Venezuelan bolívars.
You can see that bitcoin trading volume in Venezuela has exploded, up 211% this year alone.