The Central Bank of Venezuela released on Thursday a new set of banknotes for the second time in under a year to respond to rampant hyperinflation.
Banknotes of 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 bolívar denominations, (valued at around $2, $4, and $10,) will begin circulation on Thursday, less than ten months after the Maduro regime ordered a monetary overhaul designed to ease the problem of people carrying excessive banknotes.
The move is also intended to ease cash shortages that forced most people into using debit and credit cards, placing large pressure on digital commerce platforms.
“Three new notes will be incorporated into the current family of monetary species as of June 13, 2019, to make the system more efficient of payments and facilitate commercial transactions,” the Central Bank said in a statement Wednesday. “The new notes of Bs. 10,000, Bs. 20,000 and Bs. 50,000, which will begin to circulate gradually, will complement and optimize the current monetary cone and help meet the requirements of the national economy.”
Last August, the Maduro regime announced it would lop off five zeroes from the national currency aimed at reducing the problem of hyperinflation, releasing denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, five and two bolivars. They have also repeatedly raised the country’s national minimum wage, although such measures only seem to worsen the inflationary spiral, with recent estimates putting it at between 600,000 percent and 1 million percent.
Some experts predict inflation may reach 10 million percent by the end of the year.
Since 2010, the bolivar currency has lost over 99.999 percent of its value as a result of socialist economic policies implemented under Hugo Chávez and continued under Nicolás Maduro that created a highly inefficient, nationalized economy. This has meant that the price of goods rises almost every day to keep up with changing currency values, making even the most basic products unaffordable for the average Venezuelan.
Despite the regime’s fierce hostility towards the United States, a rising numbers of Venezuelan merchants are now only accepting payments in U.S. dollars. Many analysts speculate that the country will eventually be forced to use the dollar as its currency in a post-socialist era.
In April, officials from the International Monetary Fund warned that the recovery from Venezuela’s economic collapse, which has sparked one of the world’s most serious humanitarian crises, could take decades.
“Based on experiences with countries that have suffered similar collapses, due to armed conflicts, civil wars or natural disasters, for most of them to recover living standards similar to what they had before the collapse it has been a question of a decade or decades,” said Alejandro Werner, head of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department,