Venezuela Launches Smartphone App For Re-Denomination

Hyperinflation has reached catastrophic proportions in the South American country of Venezuela, and the government has been scrambling to resolve the economic meltdown. It's a daunting task, with the government now ordering all banks and exchanges to cut off five decimal places on the Bolivar in the hopes of curbing runaway inflation. Now, to remove further confusion, the government has released an Android app to help citizens make sense of the re-denomination.

Venezuelan Bolivar

The state government of Venezuela has launched an Android app to help citizens understand the re-denomination of the national currency. The app was created by Comunicación Digital VE, a developer best known for gamification.

Comunicación Digital VE previously published apps that tried to place the countries leaders and luminaries in a more positive light, with apps dedicated to Simón Bolívar and even one about former president Hugo Chávez.

The country’s central bank has also tweeted about the app, calling it the “best ally people will have to understand and assimilate the monetary re-denomination process.”:

The app, called the La Calculadora Soberana, or The Sovereign Calculator, was created to help Venezuelans who might be confused by the government’s efforts at re-denominating their money.

The Sovereign Calculator is a rather basic calculator app that users can use to determine what value their current denominations now hold.

Making an error in calculating the value of the Bolivar can be an expensive mistake in the country, given the government’s penchant for jailing merchants it alleges were overpricing.

An additional quirk of the Sovereign Calculator is factoring black market activity as it relates to exchange rates. The government currently pegs the bolivar at 60 bolivars to one US dollar, while the black market currently has it at 40 to 1.

Earlier this August, President Nicolás Maduro announced that Venezuela’s state oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will start using the “petro” currency as an official accounting unit.

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