Former bank employer turned developer Jonathan Wheeler has been rather tight-lipped on his newest project, an endeavor he hopes could soon bring financial relief to people living in one of the world’s most oppressive monetary regimes. His quietness is because he needs help with his mission: getting bitcoin in the hands of Venezuelans by means of a massive airdrop.
In April 2018, the nation’s president, Nicolas Maduro, ahead of the presidential elections announced an increase of 155 percent in minimum wage. Even then, the increase represented a 13 percent fall in dollar terms as Maduro blamed his nation’s predicament on an “economic war” waged against his government by Washington and the country’s opposition.
Contrary to Maduro’s claims, bad governance, poor economic policies and falling oil prices have been identified as reason for Venezuela’s economic woes. This dates back to the days of Maduro’s predecessor when the country failed to capitalize on the boom in oil revenue as far back as the 90’s.
The Venezuelan government regularly arrests people who share different political opinions and has banned technologies citizens have used to sidestep its censorship. Additionally, Venezuela has recently launched its own cryptocurrency, the petro, which has been portrayed as the key to economic revival.
Still, Wheeler is set on ditching efforts to try and help the country by way of political change. Instead, he wants to use bitcoin to quell an economic crisis so severe people are finding it difficult to pay for necessities (food is in such short supply, in fact, the majority of the population is losing weight).
Wheeler said in a statement:
“To give it the greatest likelihood of success, it has to be done en masse. We’re trying to make this a large-scale collaborative mission to help people suffering from financial tyranny.”
Wheeler is intending on using bitcoin to stifle an economic crisis so extreme people are unable to buy food. His growing team is developing an app called Azul, which, he hopes, will be able to draw millions in donations by the end of the year.