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Venezuelans use bitcoin 'mining' to escape inflation

• yahoo.com by Alex VASQUEZ

In warehouses, offices and homes, miners are using modified computers to perform complex computations, essentially book-keeping for digital transactions worldwide, for which they earn a commission in bitcoins.

While practiced worldwide, Bitcoin mining is part of a growing, underground effort in Venezuela to escape the worst effects of a crippling economic and political crisis and runaway inflation that the IMF says could reach 720 percent this year.

Having no confidence in the bolivar and struggling to find dollars, many Venezuelans, who are neither computer geeks nor financial wizards, are relying on the bitcoin -- currently valued around $6,050, or other virtual currencies.

Caracas office worker Veronica says her boss installed the 20 machines in early 2015.

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