Using Bitcoin to Quell an Economic Crisis
Former banker turned developer Jonathan Wheeler is looking for ways in which he can send Bitcoin to Venezuelan citizens using a massive air drop. The economic crisis in the country is so bad that people can’t even pay for basic necessities – food is in short supply and the population is losing weight.
This plan, however, is fraught not just with logistical difficulties but real danger to those who help. Wheeler has said that while the idea was daring, maybe even crazy, he is so determined to help those oppressed by tyranny that he quit Goldman Sachs to carry out his plan.
After having quit his very lucrative job, Wheeler teamed up with Morgan Crena and founded a non-profit called Pale Blue Foundation. Now, the team at Pale Blue consists of 15 members, including a few based in Venezuela.
The idea is to create a mobile app called Azul, which Wheeler hopes will garner millions in donations from across the world. Then, these funds can be used to help the people of Venezuela via an air drop.
Challenges in Carrying Out this Plan
The biggest challenge is keeping the plan and the participants’ names as secret as possible. This is because the Venezuelan government is persecuting anyone who has divergent views. The dictatorship has also banned all technology that people could use to circumvent government censorship.
The second challenge is usability. There are two parts to this – the usability of the cryptocurrency as well as the technology. According to Wheeler they focused on Bitcoin since it is the most widely available cryptocurrency at this time and is also the only network that can currently handle the most transactions. Additionally, now that Bitcoin also has the Lightening network, scalability will be even better.
The people who really need Bitcoin and other funding don’t have the fancy smartphones or sophisticated software required to run most of the protocols. Thus, Pale Blue is also looking at getting in a large number of coders, including Quentin Vidal, who can create software that is simple to run on basic tech.
Another big issue – which the team at Pale Blue Foundation is working with economists to resolve – is what the consequences of air dropping a huge amount of cryptocurrency into the country would be. After all, the idea is to help the people of Venezuela, not destabilize the already struggling economy of the country.
While there is still a lot of research to be done – as much of it as possible in secret – the team at Pale Blue Foundation is working hard to make this project a reality and offer succor to the people of Venezuela.