Mining With Free Electricity, Crypto Fever Takes Caracas

Crypto fever may have cooled across much of the globe, but don’t tell that to folks here in Caracas. They’re mining coins like crazy.

One buddy of mine who works in advertising bought a machine, set it up in his home and told his 20-year-old son to run it 24/7. They’re grinding out about $6 a day. Another friend, an unemployed programmer, also installed one in his apartment. The darn thing was so loud, though, that the neighbors complained until he moved it to his parents’ home across town. And still another friend invested with his family in three machines. They’re now clearing $1,000 a month. That’s a small fortune here.

Heck, even the $6 a day is half-decent money in a country mired in a horrific economic depression. One key to my mining pals’ success: electricity, while spotty, is basically free, the result of an odd combination of hyperinflation and government-mandated utility price freezes. (It’ll cost you 900,000 bolivars—or about $0.90 at the black-market rate—for a coffee, pastry and juice at a cafe, but you can pay your monthly electricity, water, gas, internet and phone bills for about 300,000 bolivars.) […]

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