The Venezuelan currency is called the bolivar. This name is used to commemorate the Venezuelan freedom fighter Simon Bolivar, who is considered the national hero of some South American states. This currency has been officially valid in Venezuela since 1879 and replaced the currency that was valid until then, the Venezolano.
Since January 1st, 2008 the official name of the Venezuelan currency Bolívar fuerte, which means something like strong bolívar, abbreviated BsF. The currency’s ISO code is VEF.
History of the Venezuelan Currency
At the time this currency was introduced, the equivalent value according to the principles of the Latin Monetary Union was 4.5 grams of fine silver. In relation to the previous currency, the Venezolano, the bolívar was exchanged at a ratio of 1 Venezolano for 5 bolívar.
The gold bolívar, which was introduced and a means of payment in 1887, became the sole means of payment from 1910. In 1930 the gold standard was abolished. The Bolívar developed into the most stable currency in the region, which was also recognized internationally.
Since February 18, 1983, which was subsequently referred to as “Black Friday”, the constant devaluation of the Bolívar began. From 2003, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chaves introduced capital controls. Since the Venezuelan currency was no longer freely convertible, an uncontrolled black market, for example in the US dollar, developed. Even the publication of the black market price was made a criminal offense in 2007.
To restore confidence in the Venezuelan currency, the government introduced the Bolívar Fuerte at the beginning of 2008 and crossed out three zeros, which is not uncommon in Latin America. The exchange rate to the US dollar was officially set and has been 2.15 BsF for one US dollar since 2005.
Taking into account the high inflation in Venezuela, the bolívar had to be devalued several times. Since 2013 there have been several exchange rates, for example for cash exchanges, exports and more.
Exchange into the currency of Venezuela
Even if there are unofficial possibilities to exchange the local currency in Bolívar fuerte, changing in official exchange offices is the risk-free option. Trusted people may be asked to make the switch.