How worthless is the bolivar, Venezuela’s currency? You’d be better off investing in fictional currency from a video game.
The virtual gold in “World of Warcraft,” the online role-playing game, is now almost seven times more valuable than real cash from Venezuela, whose economy is in shambles.
As the South American country suffers an economic crisis due to extreme inflation, the value of bolivar has cratered.
One US dollar today is worth 68,915 bolivares, according to official rates, but it goes for 690,854 on the black market exchange rate the locals use. The black market rate is considered more trustworthy than the official rate, because the Venezuelan government has lost credibility among many of its people.
By contrast, an official token, or in-game credit, in “WoW” is worth $20. Tokens also are sold to other players for gold, and their value changes through worldwide auctions. According to a WoW token price tracker, a token is currently worth 201,707 pieces of virtual gold.
Which means a single dollar trades to 10,085 gold pieces in WoW. This makes the fake money used in Azeroth, the mythical world of the game, about 6.8 times more valuable than the Venezuelan bolivar.
More than a year ago, one US dollar went for about 3,100 bolivares. Since then, the bolivar has lost 98% of its value.
In response Venezuela’s government launched the world’s first sovereign cryptocurrency, the petro, in February. One token cost $60. The petro can only be bought with other world currencies, and it’s unclear how investors will be able to sell it.