CARACAS, Venezuela, Dec. 4 (UPI) — The Central Bank of Venezuela said it will issue new higher-value currency to aid consumers who are dealing with unprecedented inflation.
Six new Venezuelan bolivar, or Bs., bank notes and three new coins will enter circulation starting Dec. 15, the bank, known as BCV, said in a statement. The largest Venezuelan bolivar currently is the 100 note.
“The circulation of the new notes of Bs. 500, Bs. 1,000, Bs. 2,000, Bs. 5,000, Bs. 10,000 and Bs. 20,000 is a decision of the monetary authority … to optimize the current monetary cone,” the statement reads. “The BCV performed technical studies, which are also used by other central banks, to determine the optimal set of denominations required by the national economy. The coins, which will also begin to circulate during the period indicated, are Bs. 10, Bs. 50 and Bs. 100.”
Last week, the Venezuelan bolivar fell to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar in the black market. Data provided by currency tracking website DolarToday earlier this week showed 3,684.51 Venezuelan bolivars are worth $1 on the black market, which was an unprecedented devaluation.
On Sunday, DolarToday reported 4,402 Venezuelan bolivars are worth $1.
Venezuela is facing an economic crisis in which basic goods such as food, medicine and toiletries are in short supply or unavailable. Goods are also unaffordable due to record-high inflation.
“The expansion of the monetary cone will make the payment systems more efficient, it will facilitate commercial transactions and will minimize the cost of production, replenishment and transfer of monetary species, which will translate into benefits for banks, trade and the population in general,” BCV added. “The six new banknotes complement the current family and coexist with which are in circulation. They will be distributed progressively by the BCV, in its headquarters of Caracas and Maracaibo, and through the banking system throughout the country.”
The Venezuelan opposition has long-blamed the regime of President Nicolas Maduro of exacerbating Venezuela’s problems through corruption and inefficiency.
“What they did to our currency, Maduro — unforgivable! Your space in history is reserved: the darkest time in Venezuela!” Henrique Capriles Radonski, governor of Venezuela’s Miranda state and a key opposition leader, said in a statement on Sunday referring the the bank’s decision.