In this series of articles, we have surfaced key insights for designers, technologists, and policymakers who want to do something for Venezuelans living under repressed economic freedoms and high inflation, but who weren’t familiar with how people living through this situation are using money or what limitations they must face…


What can you do when your currency buys less every day and your financial institutions can’t interact with the outside world?

Venezuelans are locked in a system where the only monetary asset that is widely available and that banks accept, the bolivar, loses value every day. Venezuelan debit and credit…


How do you constantly adapt to endure ever-worsening conditions?

The infrastructure in Venezuela is deteriorating fast, causing ripple effects in an economy that is already collapsing. The power can go out for days, at times taking down the communication networks that people rely on to live and work. …


When you cannot rely on institutions, where do you turn?

This is a key question Venezuelans face daily in their fight to keep going.

Local government institutions are not only unreliable, but can feel like the adversary. Rule of law is capriciously enforced or non-existent. …


This video was shot in San Cristóbal, Venezuela in March 2019. It shows people lined up around several city blocks to withdraw some of the local currency, bolivars, from the largest bank branch in the city. Cash is scarce but necessary, so people put up with hours of waiting.


A year ago, we found ourselves looking on in horror at Venezuela’s endless stream of bad news: one million percent inflation, no ability to transfer money in or out of the country, violent crackdowns on merchants who set their own prices. …

Open Money Initiative

We believe that access to a free and open financial system is a basic human right.

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