World of Warcraft’s gold is now 7 times more valuable than Venezuela’s actual currency
Venezuela’s official currency—the bolivar—is on a rapid decline. And that’s putting it lightly. In fact, its fall was so severe that the bolivar is now worth seven times less than the virtual gold from World of Warcraft. The comparison became possible because of Blizzard’s introduction of WoW Tokens – ways to exchange in-game currency for $15 on your account. Which is pretty much the equivalent of a one-month World of Warcraft subscription.
Theoretically, you could pull off the same transaction in the past. The underground World of Warcraft economy used to be a big deal, and the black market offered plenty of opportunities to exchange gold for money.
Now, however, Blizzard made it official. The current value of a $20 WoW Token is around 207,500 gold, which means $1 would be equal to 10,375 gold. Not the greatest exchange rate if you’re the one trading gold, but you would get a much worse deal with Venezuelan bolivars. According to Google, one US dollar is worth 69,910 bolivars, meaning it’s almost 7 times cheaper than World of Warcraft’s virtual currency. To put things into perspective, if you have a 100 bucks, you’re effectively a Venezuelan millionaire.
The actual situation might be even more dire, though. In the end, any currency is worth only as much as people are willing to pay for it, and the official rate of the Venezuelan bolivar doesn’t reflect its actual value. For example, on the black market, the current exchange rate seems to be a whopping 690,854 bolivars for a single American dollar. If that information holds true, WoW gold is 66 times as expensive as the Venezuelan cash.
This staggering fall is the result of increasing inflation rates. To combat this, Venezuela plans to redenominate its money in June, making the new bolivar around a 1,000 times more expensive. Of course, the real question is can the renewed currency hold up. And if not, will it just go on another downward spiral?
Another possible reason behind Venezuela’s economic turmoil is the decision of the current president Nicolás Maduro to release the national cryptocurrency called the Petro. According to Nicolás Maduro, the Petro is backed by oil, gasoline, gold, and diamonds. It’s also meant to attract outside investments and “advance [Venezuela] in issues of monetary sovereignty”, effectively becoming the most ambitious ICO undertaking to date.
Understandably, the news was met with healthy skepticism, which didn’t reflect well on the bolivar exchange rate. But if Venezuela pulls this off, the Petro might very well become the stepping-stone for the new era of the global economy. Bitcoins and Ethereum have already made their presence known across the globe, but if a country officially adopts a similar cryptocurrency… well, this might be the start of something very, very exciting.
For now, though, the Petro doesn’t present the greatest investment opportunities, so it’s likely smarter to wait on the sidelines while observing the current WoW gold/bolivar exchange rates.