• 312 days Will The ECB Continue To Hike Rates?
  • 312 days Forbes: Aramco Remains Largest Company In The Middle East
  • 314 days Caltech Scientists Succesfully Beam Back Solar Power From Space
  • 714 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 719 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 721 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 724 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 724 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 725 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 727 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 727 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 731 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 731 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 732 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 734 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 735 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 738 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 739 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 739 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 741 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
  1. Home
  2. Cryptocurrencies
  3. Bitcoin

The $300 Million Bitcoin Airdrop

Vennezuela

Jonathan Wheeler quit his job as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs earlier this year to start a non-profit foundation with a unique mission: Air drop $300 million worth of bitcoin into economically-depressed Venezuela.

As the official (unpublished) inflation rate has skyrocketed to 14,000 percent, Venezuelans' affinity for bitcoin has intensified. Thousands of Venezuelans are reportedly mining crypto, benefiting from cheap, government-subsidized electricity. This fact isn't lost on the government, which has arrested cryptocurrency miners and users, even as the country's Treasury has launched the petro, Venezuela's "oil-backed" cryptocurrency, which it has touted as the country's financial salvation.

However, as CoinDesk pointed out in a recent profile, Wheeler is afraid to say too much about his project - which recently became involved with a handful of Venezuelans on the ground.

The former bank employee turned developer doesn't want to say too much about his newest project, an effort he believes could soon help people living under one of the world's most oppressive monetary regimes. That's because he needs others to help him with his mission – getting bitcoin in the hands of Venezuelan citizens by way of a massive mobile airdrop.

The problem is that spilling too much intel could put those he's working with in danger.

The Venezuela government routinely arrests people with deviating political opinions and has even gone as far as to ban technologies citizens have used to circumvent its censorship. That's not to mention the fact that Venezuela's government has already launched its own cryptocurrency, the petro, which it's painted as key to its economic revival. Related: Uber Heads Back To London After Regulatory Victory

Wheeler has put together a team that's developing a mobile app, called Azul, which he hopes will help him solicit the millions in donations the company will need to make its project successful. So far, Wheeler's pitches to investors have elicited some interesting replies.

Wheeler's original pitch, presented at the BitDev meetup in New York City in February, was to raise millions of dollars from venture capitalists. But as he and Crena have pitched investors, several have pressured them to launch a crypto token of their own through an initial coin offering (ICO).

According to Wheeler, the VCs said that with the market for crypto tokens so hot right now, he and his team would be able to raise much more money.

But Wheeler and his partner decided against the ICO route. Given that Venezuelans have  limited access to technology, he's hoping to make claiming the money as simple as possible. Bitcoin is probably the best choice, Wheeler and his team believe - particularly since developers added the lightning network, which is intended to speed up transactions by moving some data off of the bitcoin blockchain.

"We're focused on bitcoin because we think it's the most viable solution with the most worldwide potential," Wheeler said.

Wheeler is seeking a partnership with the Human Rights Foundation and the United Nations, and has discussed the consequences of injecting a pile of money into a country with a damaged economy. Asked why Venezuela, Wheeler shrugged, and replied "you've got to start somewhere." But Venezuela is probably as good a candidate as any: Many Venezuelans are already familiar with bitcoin, thanks to the speed with which the country's economy has collapsed. And the people are in dire need: Thanks to food shortages, 75 percent of Venezuelans lost at least 10 kilos last year, according to one study.

Can Wheeler save Venezuela from "the Maduro diet" with his bitcoin injection? Or will the Venezuelan government find a way to seize the money?

By Zerohedge.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment