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Venezuelan Developers Are Using Bitcoin, Rare Pepe Trading Cards To Fight Against a Dismal Economy (cryptoinsider.com) 93

According to Crypto Insider, Venezuelan developers have been selling "rare pepes" -- trading cards that contain unique illustrations and photoshops of the character Pepe the Frog. While the trading cards started out as nothing more than a joke, many of them have been traded for thousands of dollars on the Counterparty platform, which is built on top of Bitcoin, and have provided a way for many developers to sustain themselves in Venezuela's poor economy. From the report: The basic idea behind the issuance of rare pepes on top of the Counterparty platform is that it enables scarcity in a digital world. Each rare pepe card is linked to a little bit of bitcoin through a practice known as coin coloring. Whoever owns the private keys associated with the address where the bitcoins that represent a specific rare pepe card is located is the one who owns that particular trading card. Now, a group of developers in Venezuela are building games similar to Hearthstone and Pokemon where the rare pepe trading cards will play an integral role. If you go to rarepepe.party right now, you're mainly presented with a video of what the first game based on the Rare Pepe digital trading cards will look like. The concept is similar to Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering where players essentially do battle with their opponents via characters on trading cards, which have specific stats and features. In this case, the characters are various rare pepes. With many rare pepes already released (you can view them in the official rare pepe directory), the developers behind Rare Pepe Party are attempting to provide a use case for these new trading cards. While some rare pepe cards already have stats on them, the developer who chatted with Crypto Insider says those stats may not mean much when it's time to play the game. While rare pepes are nothing more than fun and games for much of the developed world, they're a matter of survival in Venezuela. "We're based in Venezuela, and our business has been saved by bitcoin many times," said the developer. The developer claims roughly 80 percent of the offices around the area where Rare Pepe Party is being developed have shut down over the past year. The biggest businesses on their street have also dropped as much as 90 percent of their employees.
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Venezuelan Developers Are Using Bitcoin, Rare Pepe Trading Cards To Fight Against a Dismal Economy

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  • I see Pepe's keeping steering clear of anything shady since his recent bad choices then.
  • because of a temporary drop in oil prices (we're a long way off from oil becoming worthless) why the heck are they doing so bad? I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that. Usually the rest of the world will send some aid to a country floundering like this. Heck even Greece got some. Did they piss everybody off somehow?
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @08:24PM (#54106187) Journal
      because communism is generally incapable of feeding itself
      • Capitalism made the same mistake when Ireland relied too heavily on potatoes because they grew so well and were profitable ... until they all got sick.

        Lesson: don't put all your economy in one basket, whether you are commies, socialists, capitalists, or some mix.

        • Let's stop you right there. Food production in Ireland rose during the famine. The problem was that the English were more interested in acquiring land, and also in genocide. Why don't you go read the wikipedia article on the subject. Your platitude may or may not be sound but your example is seriously off base. It's like blaming the Shoah on capitalism: there may be some senses in which it could be considered true, but it mostly happened because the people in charge wanted it to happen.

          • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

            The potato disease was still the PRIMARY cause of the famine according to your source. If their society were well run perhaps they could have re-allocated quicker, but society rarely rapidly overhauls itself quickly and well at the same time. That's asking too much of humans.

        • some Micks

          FTFY,SID,SAB.

      • because communism is generally incapable of feeding itself

        I believe you misspelled both "corrupt dictatorships" and "damaged into non-sustainability"

        • Did you type that on iPhone or android or PC? You would have none of that relying on communism, which institutionalizes the dictatorship you lambaste.

          There is no such thing as real communism that has never been tried. It is a dictatorship at its core. People are not free to satisfy the needs or desires of others, so it will always lag and fail at even the basics.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because they're socialist.

      They didn't WANT "evil capitalist" capital.

      They wanted to show socialism for the win.

    • why the heck are they doing so bad?

      Because, when oil prices were high, instead of saving for a rainy day, they squandered the windfall on import subsidies and giveaways while destroying every other part of their economy.

      I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that.

      Not to the same degree. On the Transparency International Corruption Index [wikipedia.org] Venezula is a near rock bottom 166/176.

      Did they piss everybody off somehow?

      Yes, starting with their own people. Maduro is one of the least popular leaders in the world (although he beats President Hollande of France). Venezuela has few international friends. Even Cuba has backed off

      • by Zemran ( 3101 )
        "yet another excellent example of why socialism is a bad idea." When did socialism become a bad idea? The most successful countries in the world are socialist so it seems a strange statement. Norway has been rated the happiest country in the world with Denmark second. Both socialist. I cannot think of any country that I would want to live in that is not socialist. Venezuela is a failure because of the man running the country. It is not a socialist country any more than the Democratic People's Republi
        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @10:00PM (#54106455)

          The most successful countries in the world are socialist so it seems a strange statement. Norway has been rated the happiest country in the world with Denmark second. Both socialist.

          Neither is socialist. Socialism: Government ownership of the means of production. Both Norway and Denmark are, by many measures, more capitalist than America. For instance, the Danish post office is privatized. If you at add in health care, America actually has a about the same government footprint as either. Social programs do not make a country "socialist".

        • Classifying Norway as socialist is a bit like classifying the USA as capitalist. Neither nation is fully socialist or capitalist -- they both have significant elements of capitalism and socialism -- but they differ in the amount by which they embrace, for example, socialism. Actually, I would argue that, while Norway is more socialist than the USA, it is nonetheless more capitalist than it is socialist.

          Also, why is it that every time some nation tries to completely (or predominately) adopt socialism or it'

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Neither Norway or Denmark are socialist. You wouldn't be able to find a successful socialist state to point to, because they don't exist.

      • while destroying every other part of their economy.

        This is glossed over too much. Part of the problem is that Venezuela implemented price controls on a lot of things including staples - price controls that in many cases are or were lower than the cost of producing those goods/crops. They then used oil money to subsidize imports, but local producers and farmers had no reason to produce because they were going to lose money, much like a saying that's been around in the USA for years ("Interviewer: 'What are

      • last part is false, Venezuela has still lots of friends, even powerful ones like China and Russia, because we send them cheap oil.

        Cuba defended us as recent as few days ago. Look it up.

        Granted, we have lost some friends, such as Peru, Chile, Brasil, Paraguay, Argentina and Colombia, since they have mostly switched to right wing governments. And we are going down the drain at an alarming rate, as yesterday the Supreme Court basically legalized a coup d'tat.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Their economy was almost entirely reliant on high oil prices. They never really tried to diversify their economy so when oil prices plunged so did their economy. On top of that their oil needs specialized refineries requiring them to send their oil to other countries to be refined. The main country providing refinery services are located in the US. At prices under $50 per bbl they are almost losing money on any oil they do manage to export. They also shot themselves in the foot trying to nationalize the ass

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      because of a temporary drop in oil prices (we're a long way off from oil becoming worthless) why the heck are they doing so bad? I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that. Usually the rest of the world will send some aid to a country floundering like this. Heck even Greece got some. Did they piss everybody off somehow?

      As I understand it the main problem is that the shortages and massive inflation means that most people spend most of their day standing in line for the scraps rather than do anything productive. And when they do get to buy some subsidized goods they overbuy and go to sell them on the black market, which means even more time is wasted on finding places to buy, places to sell and bartering. Running any kind of shop is pretty hopeless because you can't get reliable supplies or reliable customers or pay reliabl

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        Nobody will give a country loans without concessions and Chavez won't give any.

        Kinda hard to do when you're dead.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you want to understand the situation in Venezuela you must first understand basic economics. It's a fascinating subject really, worthy of your study. However, to answer your question in a nutshell, the Venezuelan economy is failing because of government imposed wage, price and capital controls, expropriation of private property and restrictions on freedom of speech, press and assembly. In short, it has become a tyranny and people have simply given up working because anything they produce can and probably

    • by fred911 ( 83970 )

      It's beyond pricing. Their production is down to just over 2m barrels a day, lowest in 13 years. That combined with the facts that oil is basically the only thing they export, they can't produce a sufficient food supply, an inflation rate of 1500% and at least 1/3 of the population's occupation is thief makes it a little tough to overcome.

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

      because of a temporary drop in oil prices (we're a long way off from oil becoming worthless) why the heck are they doing so bad? I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that. Usually the rest of the world will send some aid to a country floundering like this. Heck even Greece got some. Did they piss everybody off somehow?

      Venezuela's over-reliance on oil and low global oil prices may be the spark that started their economic fire, but they made a many other really bad economic decisions before and after the oil price drop that made things much much worse. Mind you there are other oil-dependent countries with economies that may be hurting, but they aren't spiraling into economic collapse like Venezuela...there's a lot more bad stuff going on there. I highly recommend listening to NPR's Planet Money podcast about Venezuela's cu

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @08:21PM (#54106177) Homepage Journal

    This is a very interesting development, and use of the bitcoin/blockchain technology.

    Hypothetically, it's difficult to collect works of art in media forms that are easy to copy. For example, it'd be hard to have a 500 print "limited edition, collectible" screensaver image.

    But an artist could mint their own cryptocoin sell one with each registered copy of their work. The person who "owns" the official copy would keep the bitcoin safe, and be assured that only 500 of the limited edition versions were ever made. (Along with some security from the artist, publishing their crypto signature for provenance verification, and so on).

    This wouldn't prevent people from copying or using the screensavers, but it could make certain forms collectible. This would eliminate counterfeiting in those forms.

    The trading cards are just one example of this.

    • But why honor that collectibility? I mean, this isn't like counterfeiting physical paintings, where counterfeiting only produces something very similar to original artwork; this allows for counterfeiting wherein the counterfeit art would be, bit-for-bit, indistinguishable from the original, save for a cryptographic signature that doesn't actually contribute anything artistic to the piece. In essence, the scarcity doesn't derive from the actual artwork; it derives from the signature for the artwork.

      Maybe the

      • by athmanb ( 100367 )

        Because the collectibility is what they're using for fiat money, and the value in fiat money is in the consensus in the population that the value exists. You can make a bit-for-bit copy of that image if you want, but nobody is going to give you a chicken in trade for it.

    • It goes beyond art. They've implemented Bitcoin banknotes.

  • But I bet it's higher than ~3.5, which means this is a niche solution even if they're the only people in the world using Bitcoin. It's also stupid, but hey, a lot of things that people use to make a living are stupid.

    And no matter what the ledger says, the person in physical possession of the trading card is the one who owns it, because the government isn't going to recognize Bitcoin as proof of ownership.

    So really, we're talking about a barter economy because the Venezuelan bolÃvar is in the shitter,

  • I orefer my pepes well done thankyou.

  • There's a different Pepe that's appropriate to Venezuela. He comes from Warner Brothers.
  • than using bit of metal as currency.

  • People are using Pepe Cards with Bitcoin. Pepe (The guy the media has tried to tie to Trump and Racism.) To help save the economy of Venezuela. (The country sitting on shitloads of wealth that they can not use cause the went commie and retard at the same time.)

    Trump racism saves the lefts favorite government?

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