A Venezuelan man has used the bulk of his bitcoin savings to pay the medical costs of his son’s birth. Many consider adequate healthcare a universal human right but only few in the inflation-ridden country can actually afford it.
José Rafael Peña, a materials engineer from Caracas, outlined the payment process which took a day to clear and gave his son the best possible start at a new life. It also bolstered the case of bitcoin as a superior medium of exchange than gold:
“But telling this story has made me realize how important Bitcoin has been in my own life. It has allowed me to fight Venezuela’s hyperinflation, to amass some savings, and to pay large sums of money in a matter of hours, without having to actually travel anywhere. Imagine what it would take to sell that quantity in gold, for example.”
Gold: Not a Workable Solution for the People
Peña was able to send his wife to a private clinic in the capital thanks to a salary that was paid exclusively in bitcoin over the last two years.
The minimum wage in Venezuela is reported to be around $16 a month. That leaves mothers-to-be in serious financial trouble since decent clinics can cost upwards of $1,500.
Peña used LocalBitcoins to exchange his bitcoin into bolivars. At the last possible minute. The process was convoluted, mostly due to the red tape from Venezuelan banks.
Venezuelans still rely heavily on LocalBitcoins for cryptocurrency exchange. | Source: SimilarWeb
It only took a day to clear, however, which Peña believes would likely be impossible with gold.
The gold versus bitcoin money debate has been heating up in recent years. The yellow metal has taken a back seat to bitcoin thanks to massive outperformance from the flagship cryptocurrency.