Venezuela Demonetises Banknotes

The Venezuelan government has decided to replace its largest banknote, the 100 bolivar bill with coins within 72 hours.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed an emergency decree ordering the country’s highest-denomination banknotes taken out of circulation to thwart “mafias”.

Venezuela is in the midst of an economic crisis – prepares to issue new banknotes and coins in values up to 200 times the highest denomination currently available.

Earlier, the central bank said that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars would come into circulation on 15 December.

Falling prices for Venezuela’s crucial oil exports have caused a shortage of dollars in the country, driving up prices of imports of food, medicine and other crucial goods.

The 100-bolivar bill has lost most of its value over the past few years and is now worth about 2 cents (£0.015).


Venezuela’s move to outlaw its highest currency came 33 days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surpise announcement on November 8 to demonetise Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes, in his government’s effort to stop tax evasion and underreporting of cash on hand.