Venezuela is one of the world’s most dangerous places to mine bitcoin

Brother’s story is a familiar one. David Fernando Lopez has since fled the country, but he once ran a bitcoin mining farm out of Caracas for three years. He was 40-years-old and didn’t have a job. Mining was the one thing that could take him out of poverty. “You can feed a family with one ether rig. It’s a fact.”

Lopez says that a lot of people are doing this right now. “Andrea Perez” is among them. CNBC is using an assumed name for her to protect her identity. Andrea works three jobs, yet mining bitcoin represents roughly 80 percent of her income, or around $120 per month. “For me, bitcoin has represented the ability to be able to support and feed my daughter in a very volatile environment.”

With a drastic shortages of supplies, Lopez says the easiest way to get basic amenities is to use cryptocash on e-commerce site He orders staples like soap, deodorant, and shampoo — then a courier from Miami will deliver the goods right to his office. Others use cryptocash to buy vital medicine, like insulin, from overseas.