Venezuelan bolívar

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Venezuelan bolívar soberano
bolívar soberano venezolano (Spanish)
ISO 4217
CodeVES
Denominations
Subunit
 ​1100céntimo
Pluralbolívares soberanos
SymbolBs.S.[1] or Bs.
Nicknamebolo(s), luca(s), real(es)
BanknotesBs.S. 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500[1]
Coins50 céntimos, Bs.S. 1
Demographics
User(s) Venezuela
Issuance
Central bankBanco Central de Venezuela
 Websitewww.bcv.org.ve
Valuation
InflationNegative increase 1,698,488% (2018 est.)[2]
ValueOfficial rate
US$1 = Bs.S 4113
(April 2019)[1]
Parallel rate
US$1 = Bs.S 4983
(April 2019)[3]

The main currency of Venezuela since 20 August 2018 has been the bolívar soberano (sign: Bs.S.[1] or Bs.;[4] plural: bolívares soberanos; ISO 4217 code: VES). Since that date, it has been due to replace the bolívar fuerte (strong bolívar, sign: Bs.F., ISO 4217 code: VEF) after a transition period.[5] The primary reason for replacement, at a rate of 1 Bs.S. to 100,000 Bs.F, was hyperinflation.[6] On 1 January 2008, the bolívar fuerte had itself replaced, because of inflation, the original bolívar introduced in 1879 (sign: Bs.;[1] ISO 4217 code: VEB). It did so at a rate of 1 Bs.F. to 1000 Bs.

History[edit]

Bolívar[edit]

Bolívar
Preceded by:
Venezolano
Reason: unification of circulating currencies
Ratio:15 venezolano = 1 bolívar
Currency of Venezuela
31 March 1879 – 31 December 2007
Succeeded by:
Bolívar fuerte
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1000 bolívares = 1 bolívar fuerte
Venezuelan bolívar
bolívar  (Spanish)
ISO 4217
CodeVEB
Number862
Denominations
Subunit
 ​1100céntimo
Pluralbolívares
céntimocéntimos
SymbolBs.
Banknotes2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 bolívares
Coins10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 bolívares
Demographics
User(s) Venezuela
Issuance
Central bankBanco Central de Venezuela
 Websitewww.bcv.org.ve
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The bolívar is named after the hero of Latin American independence Simón Bolívar. The bolívar was adopted by the monetary law of 1879, replacing the short-lived venezolano at a rate of five bolívares to one venezolano. Initially, the bolívar was defined on the silver standard, equal to 4.5 g fine silver, following the principles of the Latin Monetary Union. The monetary law of 1887 made the gold bolívar unlimited legal tender, and the gold standard came into full operation in 1910. Venezuela went off gold in 1930, and in 1934, the bolívar exchange rate was fixed in terms of the U.S. dollar at a rate of 3.914 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar, revalued to 3.18 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar in 1937, a rate which lasted until 1941. Until 18 February 1983 (now called Black Friday (Viernes Negro) by many Venezuelans),[7] the bolívar had been the region's most stable and internationally accepted currency. It then fell prey to high devaluation.

Exchange controls were imposed on February 5, 2003, to limit capital flight.[8] The rate was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate of 1,600 VEB to the dollar.

Bolívar fuerte[edit]

Bolívar fuerte
Preceded by:
Bolívar
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1000 bolívares = 1 bolívar fuerte
Currency of Venezuela
1 January 2008 – 20 August 2018
Succeeded by:
Bolívar soberano
Reason: hyperinflation
Ratio: 100,000 bolívares fuertes = 1 bolívar soberano
Venezuelan bolívar fuerte
bolívar fuerte venezolano (Spanish)
Bolívar fuerte notes.jpg
Various 2007–2015 series bolívar fuerte notes
ISO 4217
CodeVEF
Denominations
Subunit
 ​1100céntimo
Pluralbolívares fuertes
SymbolBs.F.[1] or Bs.
Nicknamebolo(s), luca(s), real(es)
Banknotes
 Freq. usedBs.F. 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 100,000[1]
 Rarely usedBs.F. 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500
Coins
 Rarely usedBs.F. 1, 10, 50, and 100[1]
Demographics
User(s) Venezuela
Issuance
Central bankBanco Central de Venezuela
 Websitewww.bcv.org.ve
Valuation
InflationNegative increase 80,000% (2018 est.)[9]
Pegged withUS$1 = Bs. 248,832 (Dicom auction)[1]
(see this section for parallel market rate)[10]
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
Coins and low-value banknotes were rendered obsolete by hyperinflation.

The government announced on 7 March 2007 that the bolívar would be revalued at a ratio of 1,000 to 1 on 1 January 2008 and renamed the bolívar fuerte in an effort to facilitate the ease of transaction and accounting.[11] The newer name is literally translated as "strong bolívar"[12][13] but is also a reference to an old coin called the peso fuerte worth 10 Spanish reales.[14] The name "bolívar fuerte" is used to distinguish it from the older currency that was being used along with the bolívar fuerte.[15][original research?] The official exchange rate is restricted to individuals by CADIVI, which imposes an annual limit on the amount available for travel.

Inflation represented by the time it would take, in years, for money to lose 90% of its value (301-day rolling average, inverted logarithmic scale).

Since the government of Hugo Chávez established strict currency controls in 2003, there have been a series of five currency devaluations, disrupting the economy.[16] On 8 January 2010, the value was changed by the government from the fixed exchange rate of 2.15 bolívares fuertes to 2.60 bolívares for some imports (certain foods and healthcare goods) and 4.30 bolívares for other imports like cars, petrochemicals, and electronics.[17] On 4 January 2011, the fixed exchange rate became 4.30 bolívares for US$1.00 for both sides of the economy. On 13 February 2013 the bolívar fuerte was devalued to 6.30 bolívares per US$1 in an attempt to counter budget deficits.[18] On 18 February 2016, President Maduro used his newly granted economic powers to devalue the official exchange rate of the bolívar fuerte from 6.3 Bs.F per US$1 to 10 Bs.F per US$1, which is a 37% depreciation against the U.S. dollar.[19]

The bolívar fuerte entered hyperinflation in November 2016.[20]

On January 26, 2018, the government retired the protected and subsidized 10 Bs.F per US$1 exchange rate that was highly overvalued as a result of rampant inflation.[21] On February 5, 2018, the Central Bank of Venezuela announced a 99.6% [sic] devaluation, with the exchange rate going to 25,000 Bs.F per USD. This made the bolívar fuerte the second-least valued circulating currency in the world based on the official exchange rate, behind only the Iranian rial, and between September 2017 and August 2018, according to the informal exchange rate, the bolívar fuerte was the least valued circulating currency unit in the world.[22][dubious ]

The official exchange rate stood at 248,832 VEF/USD as of August 10, 2018, making it the least valued circulating currency in the world based on official exchange rates.[23]

In June 2018, the government authorized a new exchange rate for buying, but not selling currency. On August 13, 2018, the rate was 4,010,000 VEF/USD according to ZOOM Remesas.[24]

Bolívar soberano[edit]

Bolívar soberano
Preceded by:
Bolívar fuerte
Reason: hyperinflation
Ratio: 100,000 bolívares fuertes = 1 bolívar soberano
Currency of Venezuela
20 August 2018 – present

On 22 March 2018, President Nicolás Maduro announced a new monetary reform program, with a planned revaluation of the currency at a ratio of 1 to 1,000.[25] The change was to be made effective from 4 June 2018.[26][27]

In May 2018, the government required prices to be expressed in both bolívares fuertes and bolívares soberanos at the then-planned rate of 1,000 to 1. For example, one kilogram of pasta was shown with a price of BsF. 695,000 and BsS. 695. Prices expressed in the new currency were rounded to the nearest 50 céntimos as that was expected to be the lowest denomination in circulation at launch. The rounding created difficulties because some items and sales qualities were priced at significantly less than 0.50 BsS.; for example a litre of gasoline and a Caracas Metro ticket typically cost BsS. 0.06 and BsS. 0.04, respectively.[28]

The change in currency was originally scheduled for June 4, 2018. The President delayed the planned June launch date of the bolívar soberano, citing from Aristides Maza, "the period established to carry out the conversion is not enough".[29] The revaluation was rescheduled to 20 August 2018, and the rate changed to 100,000 to 1, with prices being required to be expressed at the new rate starting 1 August 2018.[30]

On 20 August 2018, the Maduro government launched the new bolívar soberano currency,[31] with one bolívar soberano worth 100,000 bolívares fuertes. New coins in denominations of 50 céntimos and 1 bolívar soberano, and new banknotes in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 bolívares soberanos were introduced.[32] Under the country's official fixed exchange rate to the US dollar the new currency was devalued by roughly 95% compared to the old bolivar fuerte.[33] The day was declared a bank holiday to allow the banks to adjust to the new currency.[34] Initially, during a transition period the bolívar soberano was to be run alongside the bolívar fuerte.[5] However, from the start of the transition, on 20 August, bolívar fuerte notes of 500 and less could not be used; only deposited at banks.[35]

Concurrently with the release of the new currency, the minimum wage was raised to 1,800 sovereign bolivars per month,[36] a 33-fold increase,[37] and sales tax increased from 12% to 16%.[37]

Additionally, the bolívar soberano is supposed to have a fixed exchange rate to the petro cryptocurrency, with a rate of 3,600 bolívares soberanos to one petro;[38][39][40] a peg of petro and bolívar soberano was announced by Maduro as early as 15 August.[citation needed] The petro is supposedly tied to the price of a barrel of oil (about US$60 in August 2018).[38][39][40] As of the end of August 2018, there is no evidence that the cryptocurrency is being traded.[41] Petro is regarded by many as a scam.[42][41][43]

Following the introduction of the bolívar soberano, inflation increased from 61,463 percent on 21 August 2018 to 65,320 percent on 22 August 2018.[42] By 24 August 2018, the introduction of the bolívar soberano had not prevented hyperinflation.[44] According to inflation analyst Steve Hanke, between 18 August and 21 August 2018, the inflation rate increased from 48,760 percent to 65,320 percent.[20][42]

On 22 August, DolarToday estimated the free market exchange rate at 71.2 bolívares soberanos per US dollar.[3] AirTM's reported exchange rate was 75.6 VES/USD.[45][46]

Currency black market[edit]

The value of one U.S. dollar in Venezuelan bolívares fuertes (before 20 August 2018) and bolívares soberanos on the parallel (or black) market through time. Vertical lines represent every time the currency has lost 90% of its value, which has happened seven times since 2012. It shows that as of mid-January 2019, the currency is worth 31,500,000 times less than it was worth in August 2012 and the rate at which the value is lost, inflation, is accelerating.

The black (or parallel) market value of the bolívar fuerte and the bolívar soberano has been significantly lower than the fixed exchange rate and other rates set by the Venezuelan government (SICAD, SIMADI, DICOM). In November 2013, it was almost one-tenth that of the official fixed exchange rate of 6.3 bolívares per U.S. dollar.[47] In September 2014, the currency black market rate for the bolívar fuerte reached 100 VEF/USD;[48] on 25 February 2015, it went over 200 VEF/USD.[49] on 7 May 2015, it was over 275 VEF/USD and on 22 September 2015, it was over 730 VEF/USD.[50] Venezuela still had the highest inflation rate in the world in July 2015.[51] By 3 February 2016, this rate reached 1,000 VEF/USD. This rate surpassed 4,300 VEF/USD on 10 December 2016. It surpassed 10,000 VEF/USD on 28 July 2017, and on 7 September 2017, the rate surpassed 20,000 VEF/USD for the first time. Inflation accelerated, and on 1 December 2017, it reached 100,000 VEF/USD for the first time ever. The rate surpassed 200,000 VEF/USD on 18 January 2018.

It is illegal to publish the "parallel exchange rate" in Venezuela.[52] One popular website that has been publishing parallel exchange rates since 2010 is DolarToday, which has also been critical of the Maduro government.[53]

Coins[edit]

Bolívar[edit]

Various Venezuelan coins

In 1879, silver coins were introduced in denominations of ​15, ​12, 1, 2, and 5 bolívares, together with gold 20 bolívares. Gold 100 bolívares were also issued between 1886 and 1889. In 1894, silver ​14 bolívar coins were introduced, followed by cupro-nickel 5 and ​12 12 céntimos in 1896.

In 1912, production of gold coins ceased, whilst production of the 5 bolívares ended in 1936. In 1965, nickel replaced silver in the 25 and 50 céntimos, with the same happening to the 1 and 2 bolívares in 1967. In 1971, cupro-nickel 10 céntimo coins were issued, the ​12 12 céntimos having last been issued in 1958. A nickel 5 bolívares was introduced in 1973. Clad steel (first copper, then nickel and cupro-nickel) was used for the 5 céntimos from 1974. Nickel clad steel was introduced for all denominations from 25 céntimos up to 5 bolívares in 1989.

In 1998, after a period of high inflation, a new coinage was introduced consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívar denominations.

The former coins were:

  • 10 bolívares
  • 20 bolívares
  • 50 bolívares
  • 100 bolívares
  • 500 bolívares
  • 1000 bolívares (minted 2005, issued late 2006, incorrectly rumored as recalled due to official Coat of Arms change during the interval)[54]
5-venezolano coin

All the coins had the same design. On the obverse the left profile of the Libertador Simón Bolívar is depicted, along with the inscription "Bolívar Libertador" within a heptagon, symbolizing the seven stars of the flag. On the reverse the coat of arms is depicted, circled by the official name of the country, with the date and the denomination below. In 2001, the reverse design was changed, putting the denomination of the coin at the right of the shield of the coat of arms, Semi-Circled by the official name of the country and the year of its emission below.

Bolívar fuerte[edit]

Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, ​12 12, 25, 50 céntimos, and 1 bolívar. They were rendered obsolete by high inflation. It may be noticed that there is a ​12 12 céntimos coin and a of 1 céntimo coin, but no ​12 céntimo coin. Therefore, giving correct change for a purchase of, say, ​4 12 céntimos would require using a ​12 12 céntimos coin and getting 8 céntimos back.

2008 Series
Denomination Shape Composition Weight Diameter Edge Obverse Reverse Obverse image Reverse image
1 céntimo Round Copper-plated steel 1.36 g 15 mm Reeded Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 1ca.jpg 1cr.jpg
5 céntimos Round Copper-plated steel 2.03 g 17 mm Plain Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 5cr.jpg 5ca.jpg
10 céntimos Round Nickel-plated steel 2.62 g 18 mm Reeded Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 10ca.jpg 10cr.jpg
12 12 céntimos [es] Round Nickel-plated steel 3.93 g 23 mm Plain Denomination of the coin, the eight stars of the national flag and two palm branches Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 12ca.jpg 12cr.jpg
25 céntimos Round Nickel-plated steel 3.86 g 20 mm Plain Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 0.25 Bs..jpg 25cr.jpg
50 céntimos Round Nickel-plated steel 4.3 g 22 mm Segmented (Plain and Reeded edges) Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 0.50 Bs.jpg 0,50 Bs..jpg
Bs. 1 [es] Round Copper-Nickel center, Brass ring 8.04 g 24 mm Smooth 'BCV1' Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, waves representing the patterns of the national flag Denomination of the coin, the eight stars and the waves representing the patterns of the national flag, the Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission 1 Bs. R.jpg 1 Bs..jpg

In December 2016, it was announced that coins of 10, 50, and 100 bolívares would enter circulation. These three coins would replace the banknotes of the same denominations.[55]

2016 Series
Denomination Shape Composition Weight Diameter Edge Obverse Reverse Obverse & Reverse image
10 bolívares Round Nickel-plated steel 3.5 g 21.3 mm Smooth Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission Moneda de diez bolívares anverso y reverso año 2016.jpg
50 bolívares Round Nickel-plated steel 5.3 g 23.5 mm Smooth Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission Moneda de cincuenta bolívares anverso y reverso año 2016.jpg
100 bolívares Round Nickel-plated steel 6.5 g 25.5 mm Segmented (Plain and Reeded edges) Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, waves representing the patterns of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela and the name of the country of emission Moneda de cien bolívares anverso y reverso año 2016.jpg

Bolívar soberano[edit]

Bolívar soberano coins were announced to be produced in denominations of 50 céntimos and 1 bolívar (50,000 bolívares fuertes and 100,000 bolívares fuertes).

2018 Series
Denomination Shape Composition Diameter Edge Obverse Reverse Obverse image Reverse image
50 céntimos Round Nickel-plated steel 22 mm Decorated Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, the eight stars of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela, waves representing the patterns of the national flag and the name of the country of emission Bolívar soberano (50 centimos) obverse.png Bolívar soberano (50 centimos) reverse.png
1 bolívar Round Copper-Nickel center, Brass ring 24 mm - Effigy of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, the eight stars of the national flag Coat of Arms of Venezuela, waves representing the patterns of the national flag and the name of the country of emission Bolívar soberano (coin) obverse.png Bolívar soberano (coin) reverse.png

Banknotes[edit]

Bolívar[edit]

In 1940, the Banco Central de Venezuela began issuing paper money, introducing by 1945 denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívares. 5 bolívares notes were issued between 1966 and 1974, when they were replaced by coins. In 1989, notes for 1, 2 and 5 bolívares were issued.

As inflation took hold, higher denominations of banknotes started being introduced: 1,000 bolívares in 1991, 2,000 and 5,000 bolívares in 1994, and 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolívares in 1998. The first 20,000 banknotes were made in a green color similar to the one of the 2,000 banknotes, which caused confusion, and new banknotes were made in the new olive green color.

Starting from 2000, banknotes ranging from 5,000 bolívares to 50,000 bolívares were renamed to REPÚBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA instead of BANCO CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA on the front, after the 1999 constitution was adopted. Moreover, banknotes of 10,000 bolívares, 20,000 bolívares and 50,000 bolívares were updated in April 2006 after the National Assembly approved changes to the coat of arms of Venezuela, which were made official on March 12, 2006.

The following is a list of former Venezuelan bolívar banknotes.

Pre-1998 series banknotes (from various series)
Image Denomination Emission Year Obverse Reverse
1989 5 bolívares Obverse.jpg 1995 5 bolívares Reverse.jpg 5 bolívares 1968 Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Miranda National Pantheon of Venezuela
1995 10 bolívares Obverse.jpg 1995 10 bolívares Reverse.jpg 10 bolívares 1968 Simón Bolívar and Mariscal Sucre Altar de la Patria, Campo de Carabobo
1995 20 bolívares Obverse.jpg 1995 20 bolívares Reverse.jpg 20 bolívares 1971 Jose Antonio Paez Altar de la Patria, Campo de Carabobo
500 bolívares 1981 Simón Bolívar A branch of orchids
1,000 bolívares 1991 Simón Bolívar Signing of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence
2,000 bolívares 1994 Antonio José de Sucre The Battle of Junín
5,000 bolívares 1994 Simón Bolívar and his coat of arms A reproduction of the painting El 19 de Abril de 1810 by Juan Lovera
[56] [57] 10,000 bolívares 1998 Antonio José de Sucre
1998 Series
1,000 bolívares 1998 Simón Bolívar A picture of National Pantheon in Caracas
2,000 bolívares 1998 Andrés Bello A picture of frailejones and a view of the Pico Bolívar
5,000 bolívares 2000 Francisco de Miranda Picture of two angelfishes and a panorama of the Guri Dam.
10,000 bolívares 2000 Antonio José de Sucre (different version of portrait) A Marpesia petreus butterfly and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice
20,000 bolívares 2000 Simón Rodríguez and the Angel Falls in the background A blue-and-yellow macaw and the Angel Falls
[1] [2] 50,000 bolívares 2005 José María Vargas Central University of Venezuela, Caracas

Bolívar fuerte[edit]

2007–2016 ("2008")[edit]

New banknotes of the series 2007–2015 with values of 2 to 100 BsF were issued from 20 March 2007 until 20 August 2018. The greater the values, the longer re-issuing occurred. Only the 50 and 100 BsF notes were re-issued in November 2015.

  • 2 BsF: March 20, 2007 to October 29, 2013
  • 5 BsF: March 20, 2007 to August 19, 2014
  • 10 BsF: March 20, 2007 to August 19, 2014
  • 20 BsF: March 20, 2007 to August 19, 2014
  • 50 BsF: March 20, 2007 to November 5, 2015
  • 100 BsF: March 20, 2007 to November 5, 2015[58]

The obverse side is portrait-oriented, with the lower half carrying a portrait, while the reverse side is landscape-oriented, the left two thirds showing an animal in front of its habitat.

Re-issues retain the value-specific motifs, but the printing quality is different. The notes are printed by Casa de la Moneda Venezuela in Venezuela.[58]

2008 Series
Image Denomination Emission Year Size (millimeters) Obverse Reverse
Bolivar fuerte obverse 2.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 2.png 2 bolívares 2008 156 × 69 Francisco de Miranda Orinoco River Dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) with Coro Dunes in background; Gusano flower
Bolivar fuerte obverse 5.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 5.png 5 bolívares 2008 Pedro Camejo Giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) with the plains of Los Llanos in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 10.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 10.png 10 bolívares 2008 Cacique Guaicaipuro American harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) with the Ucaima Falls at Canaima National Park in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 20.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 20.png 20 bolívares 2008 Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) with Macanao Mountain in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 50.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 50.png 50 bolívares 2008 Simón Rodríguez Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatos) with Laguna Santo Cristo at Sierra Nevada National Park in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 100.png Bolivar fuerte reverse 100.png 100 bolívares 2008 Simón Bolívar Red siskin (Carduelis cucullata) with Cerro El Ávila at El Ávila National Park in the background

2016–17[edit]

High inflation, which was a part of Venezuela's economic collapse, caused the bolívar fuerte's value to plummet. The 2- and 5-bolívares fuertes notes were no longer found in circulation due to the inflation, but remain legal tender. By December 2016, the 100 bolívares fuertes note, Venezuela's largest denomination of currency, was only worth about $0.023 USD on the black market.[59]

On 7 December 2016, a new series of banknotes (recolors of the previous notes) in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 bolívares fuertes was unveiled to the Venezuelan public.[55][59] Days later on 11 December, President Nicolás Maduro who had been ruling by decree wrote into law that the 100 Bs.F. would be pulled from circulation within 72 hours because "mafias" were allegedly storing those particular bills to drive inflation.[60] With more than 6 billion 100 Bs.F. notes issued consisting of 46% of Venezuela's issued currency, Maduro enacted an exchange for Venezuelan citizens to transfer all 100 Bs.F. notes for 100 Bs.F. coins while also blocking international travel to prevent the return of the bolívares that were supposedly stockpiled.[60][61] The government justified the move claiming that the United States was working with crime syndicates to spirit away Venezuela's paper money to warehouses in Europe to cause the fall of the government. The government was thwarting this threat by withdrawing the notes from circulation.[62] On 14 February 2017, Paraguayan authorities uncovered a 30 metric ton stash of 50 and 100 bolívares fuertes totaling 1.5 billion Bs.F on its Brazilian border that had not yet been circulated.[63] According to a United States Department of Defense adviser linked to The Pentagon, the 1.5 billion Bs.F was printed by Venezuela and destined for Bolivia, since unlike the implied exchange rate of thousands of bolívares fuertes equaling one United States dollar, the exchange rate was approximately 10 bolívares fuertes per dollar, making the value of the stash 419 times stronger, from US$358,000 to US$150 million.[63] The Pentagon adviser further stated that the Venezuelan government tried to send the newly printed notes to be exchanged by the Bolivian government so Bolivia could pay 20% of its debt to Venezuela, and so Venezuela could use the US dollars for its own disposal.[63]

On November 3, 2017, the Banco Central de Venezuela issued a 100,000 bolívares fuertes note which is similar to the 100 bolívares fuertes note of the 2007 series and the 20,000 bolívares fuertes of the 2016 series, but with the denomination spelled out in full instead of adding an additional three zeros to the number 100. This denomination was worth US$2.42 using the unofficial exchange rate at the date of its release, but by June 2018 inflation had reduced its value by 98%, to five U.S. cents.

New banknotes of the series 2016–2017 with values of 500 to 100,000 BsF were issued from 7 December 2016 until 20 August 2018, the day when sovereign bolivar was introduced. Notes from 5,000 BsF to 100,000 BsF were recently re-issued in December 2017.

  • 500 BsF: August 18, 2016 to March 23, 2017
  • 1,000 BsF: August 18, 2016 to March 23, 2017
  • 2,000 BsF: August 18, 2016
  • 5,000 BsF: August 18, 2016 to December 13, 2017
  • 10,000 BsF: August 18, 2016 to December 13, 2017
  • 20,000 BsF: August 18, 2016 to December 13, 2017
  • 100,000 BsF: September 7, 2017 to December 13, 2017

Maduro has announced that after the currency redenomination has carried out on 20 August 2018, these old denominations with a face value of 1000 bolívares fuertes or higher will circulate in parallel with the new series of bolívar soberano notes and will continue to be used for a limited time.[64] Banknotes with a face value below 1000 bolívares fuertes were withdrawn from circulation and ceased to be legal tender on 20 August 2018. They have to be deposited in local banks.[65][66]

2016-17 Series
Image Denomination Value in Bs.S.
20 Aug - 4 Dec 2018
Emission Year Obverse Reverse
Bolivar fuerte obverse 500.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 500.jpg 500 bolívares none 2016 Francisco de Miranda Orinoco River Dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) with Coro Dunes in background; Gusano flower
Bolivar fuerte obverse 1000.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 1000.jpg 1,000 bolívares Bs.S. 0.01 2016 Pedro Camejo Giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) with the plains of Los Llanos in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 2000.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 2000.jpg 2,000 bolívares Bs.S. 0.02 2016 Cacique Guaicaipuro American harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) with the Ucaima Falls at Canaima National Park in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 5000.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 5000.jpg 5,000 bolívares Bs.S. 0.05 2016 Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) with Macanao Mountain in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 10000.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 10000.jpg 10,000 bolívares Bs.S. 0.10 2016 Simón Rodríguez Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatos) with Laguna Santo Cristo at Sierra Nevada National Park in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 20000.jpeg Bolivar fuerte reverse 20000.jpg 20,000 bolívares Bs.S. 0.20 2016 Simón Bolívar Red siskin (Carduelis cucullata) with Cerro El Ávila at El Ávila National Park in the background
Bolivar fuerte obverse 100000.jpg Bolivar fuerte reverse 100000.jpg 100,000 bolívares Bs.S. 1 2017 Simón Bolívar Red siskin (Carduelis cucullata) with Cerro El Ávila at El Ávila National Park in the background

2018[edit]

By May 2018, the bolívar fuerte's banknotes represented very little value and they had become in short supply.[67] Weighing scales could no longer convert mass to price and receipts could no longer fit the numbers on their paper.[68]

The lower denomination bolívar fuerte banknotes (up to Bs. 500) were demonetized on 20 August 2018; with the introduction of the bolívar soberano. Higher denominations (Bs. 1,000 and above) remained legal tender during a transition period. On 30 November 2018, it was announced that the remaining denominations of the old currency will be withdrawn from circulation and cease to be legal tender on 5 December 2018.[69]

Bolívar soberano[edit]

The bolívar soberano banknotes were introduced to the public on 20 August 2018 with denominations between BsS 2 to BsS 500. Only the 50 BsS, 100 BsS and 500 BsS were recently re-issued on May 18, 2018.

  • 2 BsS: January 15, 2018
  • 5 BsS: January 15, 2018
  • 10 BsS: January 15, 2018
  • 20 BsS: January 15, 2018
  • 50 BsS: January 15, 2018 to May 18, 2018
  • 100 BsS: January 15, 2018 to May 18, 2018
  • 200 BsS: January 15, 2018 to March 13, 2018
  • 500 BsS: January 15, 2018 to May 18, 2018

Four months after entry into circulation, the Bs.S 2 (about US$0.002 at that time), began being refused in shops and state banks, as its value has significantly declined since redenomination.[70][71]

2018 Series
Image Denomination Emission Year Obverse Reverse
[3] [4] 2 bolívares 2018 Josefa Camejo (es) Yellow-crowned amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala) with the Morrocoy National Park in the background
[5] [6] 5 bolívares 2018 José Felix Ribas portrait by Martín Tovar y Tovar Atelopus cruciger with the Henri Pittier National Park in the background
[7] [8] 10 bolívares 2018 Rafael Urdaneta Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) with the Catatumbo lightning in the background
[9] [10] 20 bolívares 2018 Simón Rodríguez Jaguar (Panthera onca) with the Waraira Repano National Park in the background
[11] [12] 50 bolívares 2018 Antonio José de Sucre Cunaguaro (Leopardus tigrinus) with the Península de Paria National Park in the background
[13] [14] 100 bolívares 2018 Ezequiel Zamora Brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) with the Guatopo National Park in the background
[15] [16] 200 bolívares 2018 Francisco de Miranda Military macaw (Ara militaris) with the Waraira Repano National Park in the background
[17] [18] 500 bolívares 2018 Simón Bolívar Venezuelan troupial (Icterus icterus) with the Macarao National Park in the background
Current VES exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR
From XE: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR
From OANDA: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR
From fxtop.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]