How to use Bitcoin for remittances to Venezuela

bitcoin, liberty, Regulations


Vea abajo para la traducción española.

Life in Venezuela is unimaginable to me for reasons beyond that I have never been there.  I cannot picture walking into a store with no food on the shelves.  I cannot comprehend walking around with massive bags of cash in the murder capital of the world. I cannot imagine how my entire life savings can suddenly being worth next to nothing. The list of the unimaginable when it comes to life in Venezuela could go on forever, however that is not the objective of this post.

There is a point where it becomes abundantly clear, that sharing articles on Facebook, posting a new profile picture in support of your favorite “cause” or donating a dollar at the grocery checkout register when the clerk asks if you’d like to support [insert cause here], just isn’t going to cut it.

I’m not a wealthy person, a politically-connected humanitarian-activist, or anything of the like. I’m a regular guy who, probably much like yourself, is sick and tired of sitting on the sidelines hoping socialist regimes will fall, or hoping world leaders will take action and better times will come to those in the most need.

So what SHOULD you do? I really don’t know. What I do know is that we each have our own unique talents and abilities, that when set to purpose, have the ability to make change far greater than we could ever imagine. My talent, is taking complex practices, and teaching them in a way that anyone with the desire, can learn, understand and apply.

What I’m going to teach in this post is how to send remittances to Venezuela with Bitcoin in order to circumvent the capital controls of a socialist regime.  Laymen terms, I’m going to teach you how to send money to your family in Venezuela with limited fees or government interference, ensuring that a dollar sent is a dollar received. Guess what? Your loved ones in Venezuela can then leave the house in more safety, without a backpack full of cash, because the money is going straight to their bank account.

You might be wondering:

·         What the hell is Bitcoin?

·         How do I get it?

·         And more importantly, how do I get it to my family?

The goal of this guide is to answer each of those questions, in simple terms.

Bitcoin is a digital currency which can be sent anywhere in the world as easily as sending an email. It is not controlled by the government or other central authority, but is rather controlled by its users. There is a limited supply of Bitcoin that will ever be in circulation; 21 million to be exact. This property makes Bitcoin rare. You can think of Bitcoin as digital gold, except unlike gold, Bitcoin is easily transferable anywhere in the world, and is not easily taxed or controlled by governing authorities. 

Buying, selling and storing Bitcoin can be confusing for non-technical users; so let me break so you can actually DO what everyone is talking about. This post is here to help. If you are ready to take action then let’s get started.

The graphical representation below outlines each of the steps you will be taking in order to

1.       Get Bitcoin for a fair price,

2.       send it to your family in Venezuela,

3.      They can take that Bitcoin and convert it to Bolivars

4.      and finally, withdraw those Bolivars to their local bank account.

Take a look at the process flow below, and then follow along as I walk through the details of each step that is called out in the flow.


  1. Buying Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a digital currency which can be sent anywhere in the world as easily as sending an email. It is not controlled by the government or other central authority, but is rather controlled by its users. There is a limited supply of Bitcoin that will ever be in circulation; 21 million to be exact. This property makes Bitcoin rare. You can think of Bitcoin as digital gold, except unlike gold, Bitcoin is easily transferable anywhere in the world, and is not easily taxed or controlled by governing authorities.  Buying, selling and storing Bitcoin can be confusing for non-technical users; so let me break it down. One of the most popular, my personal favorite sites to buy Bitcoin is, and is the site we will be referring to in the below images to walk through purchasing [1] and sending [2] from the process flow above. Alternatively, is a great site for direct person-to-person (P2P) trading of Bitcoin.  You can even use to locate a Bitcoin ATM.  Go ahead and create an account on Coinbase, and purchase the amount of Bitcoin you would like to send. Note: the website will show you the U.S. Dollar (USD) equivalent of Bitcoin you are purchasing. For a detailed guide to purchase your first Bitcoin, refer to this link: Coinbase Tutorial.

    Comprar Bitcoin: Bitcoin es una moneda digital que puede ser enviada a cualquier parte del mundo tan fácilmente como enviar un correo electrónico. No está controlada por el gobierno u otra autoridad central, sino que está controlada por sus usuarios. Hay una oferta limitada de Bitcoin que estará en circulación; 21 millones para ser exactos. Esta propiedad hace Bitcoin raro. Se puede pensar en Bitcoin como oro digital, excepto a diferencia del oro, Bitcoin es fácilmente transferible en cualquier parte del mundo, y no es fácilmente imposible o controlado por las autoridades gubernamentales. Comprar, vender y almacenar Bitcoin puede ser confuso para usuarios no técnicos; Así que déjame romperlo. Uno de los sitios favoritos más populares para comprar Bitcoin es, y es el sitio al que nos referiremos en las imágenes de abajo para caminar a través de la compra [1] y el envío [2] del flujo de proceso anterior . Alternativamente, es un gran sitio para el intercambio directo de persona a persona (P2P) de Bitcoin. Usted puede incluso utilizar para localizar un ATM de Bitcoin. Adelante, cree una cuenta en Coinbase y compre la cantidad de Bitcoin que desea enviar. Nota: el sitio web le mostrará el equivalente en dólares estadounidenses (USD) de Bitcoin que está comprando. Para obtener una guía detallada para comprar su primer Bitcoin, consulte este enlace: Tutorial de Coinbase.

  2. Sending Bitcoin: Before you send the Bitcoin you have purchased to Venezuela, the person on the receiving end, will need to register on the surbitcoin exchange website. Once registered, they will need to verify their identity and link their bank account information. This is necessary in order to process withdrawals to their bank account. Once they have verified their identity and entered bank account information, they will need to navigate to the deposits page. Here they will click the deposit Bitcoin button  and copy the address as shown below. This long alpha numeric string of digits is called their Bitcoin “address.” You can consider this their Bitcoin bank account number, and you will need their account number in order to send them the Bitcoin you purchased on Coinbase.

    Enviando Bitcoin: Antes de enviar el Bitcoin que ha comprado a Venezuela, la persona en el extremo receptor, tendrá que registrarse en el sitio web de intercambio de surbitcoin. Una vez registrados, tendrán que verificar su identidad y vincular la información de su cuenta bancaria. Esto es necesario para procesar los retiros a su cuenta bancaria. Una vez que hayan verificado su identidad e ingresado la información de su cuenta bancaria, tendrán que navegar a la página de depósitos. Aquí se hace clic en el botón de depósito Bitcoin y copiar la dirección como se muestra a continuación. Esta larga cadena alfanumérica de dígitos se llama su “dirección Bitcoin”. Usted puede considerar este su número de cuenta bancaria de Bitcoin, y necesitará su número de cuenta para enviarles el Bitcoin que compró en Coinbase.


    deposit-address                                                   Once you receive their Bitcoin address (account number), you can navigate to the Send/Request menu on your Coinbase account and enter their Bitcoin address as the recipient as shown below. [It is advised that you copy and paste their address number for the step as it is easy to make a mistake typing in their address manually.] Once you have entered their address information, select the amount that you would like to send and press “send funds.” 

    Una vez que reciba su dirección de Bitcoin (número de cuenta), puede navegar hasta el menú Enviar / Solicitar en su cuenta de Coinbase e ingresar su dirección de Bitcoin como destinatario como se muestra a continuación. [Se aconseja que copie y pegue su número de dirección para el paso, ya que es fácil cometer un error escribiendo su dirección manualmente.] Una vez que haya ingresado su información de dirección, seleccione la cantidad que desea enviar y presione “enviar fondos”.


  3. Exchanging Bitcoin for Bolivars: Once you have sent Bitcoin from Coinbase to the recipient’s Surbitcoin wallet address, they will see the balance in their account after a short while [allow an hour]. Once the Bitcoin is available, they can sell the Bitcoin for Bolivars by clicking sell [as shown below]. Note: while it is generally not recommended to leave Bitcoin on exchanges for longer than is necessary, the fact that the Bolivar is inflating so rapidly, I would recommend only exchanging what is needed and holding the excess in Bitcoin. The reason for this while the Bolivar may be worth significantly less in one week than it is worth today, while Bitcoin is more likely to hold its value.

    Intercambio de Bitcoin para Bolivars: Una vez que haya enviado Bitcoin de Coinbase a la dirección de la billetera Surbitcoin del destinatario, verán el saldo en su cuenta después de un corto tiempo [Permitir una hora]. Una vez que el Bitcoin está disponible, pueden vender el Bitcoin para Bolivars haciendo clic en vender [como se muestra a continuación]. Nota: aunque generalmente no se recomienda dejar Bitcoin en los intercambios por más tiempo de lo necesario, el hecho de que el Bolívar se infle tan rápidamente, yo recomendaría sólo el intercambio de lo que se necesita y mantener el exceso en Bitcoin. La razón de esto, mientras que el Bolívar puede valer significativamente menos en una semana de lo que vale hoy, mientras que Bitcoin es más probable que mantenga su valor.

    screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-31-06-pmOnce the sell order has processed, they can click the withdrawal button and then select to withdrawal Bolivares as shown below.

    Una vez que la orden de venta se ha procesado, pueden hacer clic en el botón de retirada y luego seleccionar a los bolívares de retiro como se muestra a continuación.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 11.17.40 PM.png

  4. Once Bolivars are withdrawn as shown above, it will take about 24 hours for the Bolivars to show up in your local bank account.

    Una vez que Bolívar sea retirado como se muestra arriba, tardará unas 24 horas para que los bolívares aparezcan en su cuenta bancaria local.

You are all done! In my next post, I’ll be discussing how to buy food, medical supplies, toiletries and more transacting with Bitcoin alone.

I hope this post makes a positive impact on someone you care about. If you have any questions about the process above, or want to chat, contact me at via email or g-chat, or leave a comment below.

 Welcome to Bitcoin!

What a ban on gold imports could mean for the price of Bitcoin in India

bitcoin, Bitcoin Trading, Regulations
In the wake of the demonetization of the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes as announced by the Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi on November 8, 2016, in an attempt to crack down on the black money economy; rumors have spread like wildfire among Indian merchants that gold could be the next target of Modi’s wrath.
If the attack on cash wasn’t foreshadowing enough, an amendment bill, just introduced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has called for a 50% tax on unaccounted deposits (black money) or 85% tax if caught.

India, a country which citizens have historically paid only 1% income tax, these changes have brought a serious crackdown to the underground economy in an attempt to thwart black money trade and increase the breath of the tax authority.


Since Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister, he has vowed to cleanse the country of black money and corruption, which accounts for as much as 20% of the country’s GDP. Gold, which India is the second largest consumer in the world, and is one of the primary means to hold unaccounted for wealth in India, is not likely to be far from Modi’s crosshairs.
With the recent spike in demand for Bitcoin in India causing massive disparity in price between Indian exchanges and more mature exchanges in other parts of the world, there is no doubt that the people of India are considering Bitcoin as an alternative means to hold unaccounted wealth outside the reach of Modi’s campaign.  If Modi does in fact enact a ban on the imports of gold, which seems an increasing possibility, the demand for Bitcoin could increase dramatically beyond what we are already seeing for the country.
Consider the volume chart below courtesy of coin dance, which shows that since Modi’s initial announcement to demonetize the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes, Bitcoin volume in Rupees on has increased dramatically.
Week Volume (INR)
11/12/2016 11,192,335
11/19/2016 16,242,585
11/26/2016 27,670,106

Between the week of Modi’s announcement 11/12 and the week of 11/26, volume on localbitcoins has increased a staggering 147%.  Additionally, as reported on CoinDesk, Unocoin, one of India’s most popular Bitcoin exchanges has just released a mobile wallet for iOS and Android. This is incredibly important in unlocking the ability for a potential mass adoption of Bitcoin in India as statistics show that as of January 2016, that of the 375 million internet users in India, 303 million or 81% were mobile internet users.

Considering an import of gold being a likely scenario in the near future, the massive increase in volume of Bitcoin transactions in India, and the technological advances of the Bitcoin exchanges in India; the conditions are a perfect storm to facilitate a massive increase in Bitcoin demand surpassing what we have seen from the demonetization of the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes in the preceding weeks.   If this scenario plays out, an influx of buyers will flood exchanges, and demand could push the Bitcoin premium in India even higher.
This situation presents a unique opportunity for traders in countries with matured, large volume exchanges to offer Bitcoin via Indian exchanges for a premium and pocket the profit. In practice, this is not so easy, as Indian exchanges are currently only trading in INR (Rupees). This makes withdrawal from participants who do not have a bank in India difficult as they cannot withdrawal Rupees, convert to their local currency and repatriate those earnings back to their country of domicile (due to KYC documentation requirements). However, this presents a unique opportunity for those participants to pair with a partner in India who does have an Indian bank account to facilitate the withdrawal and international bank transfer. The pair of individuals would need to come to terms to split the premium gain and could repeat the process until the market corrects itself and prices stabilize.  Note: an arrangement of the sort should only be conducted with a trusted party; look out for scammers.
Have a different opinion or just want to chat, feel free to contact me at via email or g-chat, or simply leave a comment below.
Happy trading!

Why Bitcoin entrepreneurs need to take regulatory risk management seriously


Bitcoin is evolving rapidly, and so are the regulations.  Regulators are still far behind in the race to understand and govern the use of Bitcoin and Bitcoin related businesses, however their wrath can and will have a profound effect on those who are not ready for it.

Most entrepreneurs in the Bitcoin community are individuals with a strong background in programming and web development.  They have the knowledge and skills at their disposal to create revolutionary new services and systems, but lack the legal-know-how to protect themselves and maintain compliance with regulators.

Others, simply live under the false pretense that the laws do not apply to them or just don’t care.

A prime example of why maintaining compliance with regulators is so important cannot be seen clearer than the case of my friend Charlie Shrem, former CEO of BitInstant and founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Charlie, a young and wildly successful Bitcoin Entreprenuer is facing possible jail time and is poised to give up 950,000 USD in a plea bargain with the US Government for which he plead guilty to aiding and abetting an unlicensed money-transmitting business on 4th Sept via Coindesk.

Charlie’s story proves that regulators taking Bitcoin seriously and are cracking down on Bitcoin businesses.

So what can you do to manage regulatory risk?  My suggestion is to contact a professional consulting company, well known in the Bitcoin community.  Personally, I have worked with several companies who offer services to protect Bitcoin businesses and protect them in this rapidly changing regulatory environment. Of all the companies I’ve worked with, my friends over at Aspen Assurance have proven to be reliable, knowledgeable and effective. They have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, but also don’t shy away from smaller start-ups who are serious about staying ahead of the game.

All-in-all, managing your risk is a tough and swiftly evolving mission, but one that should be taken seriously by all those involved in Bitcoin related businesses.