Venezuela will put on Wednesday a new highest-denomination 100,000 bolivar bill worth only US$0.50 into circulation, the country’s Communication and Information Ministry said.
The introduction of a new banknote takes place amid the out-of-control inflation in the country, which led to a severe cash shortage. In 2016, a 100-bolivar note was the highest-denomination bill.
The new 100,000 bolivar bill can be used to purchase only US$0.50 on the black market, while US$1 was valued at 215.752 bolivars on Mar. 16, 2018, according to the Dolar Today media outlet.
Earlier in December, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a new virtual currency to fight the economic crisis, pay debts, and revive the national economy. In late February, Venezuela launched the presale of cryptocurrency tokens, each backed by a barrel of Venezuelan oil. Maduro has estimated early gains at US$735 million.
Venezuela is going through the worst economic crisis in its history which started in 2012 with changes on the global oil market. More than 95 percent of its export revenues come from oil and its derivatives.
In 2015, with the fall of prices on hydrocarbons to US$50 dollars per barrel, Venezuela’s economy was knocked out, leaving the population with shortages of food and medicine.