Beyond mere hyperinflation

P. J. O’Rourke once explained Mexican currency this way: “One peso is worth 100 centavos, and one centavo is worth nothing.” God only knows what he would have said about the Venezuelan bolívar, which has sunk to a level that can only be described as surreal:

How worthless is the bolívar, Venezuela’s currency? You’d be better off investing in fictional currency from a video game.

The virtual gold in World of Warcraft, the online role-playing game, is now almost seven times more valuable than real cash from Venezuela, whose economy is in shambles.

As the South American country suffers an economic crisis due to extreme inflation, the value of bolívar has cratered. One US dollar today is worth 68,915 bolívares, according to the black market exchange rate the locals use. The black market rate is considered more trustworthy than the official rate, because the Venezuelan government has lost credibility among many of its people.

Who knew? (And no, you won’t see the S-word in this piece.)

Meanwhile in Azeroth:

By contrast, an official token, or in-game credit, in WoW is worth $20. Tokens also are sold to other players for gold, and their value changes through worldwide auctions. According to a WoW token price tracker, a token is currently worth 201,707 pieces of virtual gold.

Which means a single dollar trades to 10,085 gold pieces in WoW. This makes the fake money used in Azeroth, the mythical world of the game, about 6.8 times more valuable than the Venezuelan bolívar.

If you prefer Monopoly money, you can get $20,580 for a mere $14.99. And O’Rourke notwithstanding, the Mexican peso is holding steady at about five cents Estados Unidos.


  1. fillyjonk »

    10 May 2018 · 10:43 am

    Now, as soon as some of the Venezuelan people can figure out how to make Azerothian tokens pay for food, they’ll be set….

  2. McGehee »

    10 May 2018 · 12:40 pm

    How long before token miners start hijacking people’s computers?

  3. In The Mailbox: 05.10.18 : The Other McCain »

    10 May 2018 · 4:17 pm

    […] Dustbury: Beyond Mere Hyperinflation […]

  4. CGHill »

    10 May 2018 · 5:19 pm

    You can probably count it out in CPU cycles.

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