As the political turmoil in Venezuela continues, is more common to hear about people leaving their Jobs to dedicate their time to farming gold in various online MMO’s like RuneScape. Since it’s more profitable than an actual paid job, you work from home, you have your own schedule, no boss that has to Yell at you about something, no expenses in traffic plus the time it takes you to get home from work, Venezuelans are living in a modern gold farming era, where virtual goods are being traded left and right for cash on PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill or any crypto currency available including BTC and ETH. This modern income opportunity has allowed many Venezuelans to earn an income that would otherwise not be available. The most important part about this opportunity is that anyone can do it – there are no barriers to entry.
One occurrence that is becoming prevalent in our country is that you can hear people in the supermarket help people making new bank accounts for their relatives so they can pay them in Bolivares for their labor and in turn making a huge profit by making a spread on the bolivar/dollar exchange rate. Entrepreneurial individuals have given gold farming legitimacy as a business in Venezuela. Some of these people have even started Runescape gold websites where they can buy osrs gold and sell them at a profit. These people are able to hire dozens of workers and in turn make a huge profit compared to what they would be able to farm themselves.
For years, the term gold farming has been associated with Chinese sweatshops, but as many countries face economic hardship it has become a way to make significant income in any for many of these countries people. Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to extreme inflation of the bolivar, while most Venezuelan’s receive salaries that are capped by the government. Currently it takes over 3 million bolivars to buy a single US dollar on the black market.
Venezuelans who are farming gold are playing for about 11 hours a day, making up in the best cases around $10 everyday just farming gold. “One worker, Pablo has told us that he is so happy that he is able to earn enough money to feed his wife and 2 children . Most Venezuelan gold farmers make the equivalent of a couple of dollars a day, but even though the amount is minuscule, they are making significantly more than even the lawyers and doctors of the country. One of the biggest reasons this is the case is the fact that the government has mandated a cap on the Bolivars that jobs can offer. By keeping this artificial ceiling, the people have trouble sustaining their lifestyles. There are no jobs that can make nearly as much as gold farming on Runescape. How can you justify working a normal job when you can make a month’s salary playing a video game for a few days?
Another one of the gold farmers told us that he spends countless hours playing the popular game League of Legends. He is a high ranked player that charges money to grind out games on other people’s accounts. While the job has provided enough support to feed his entire family, the current political situation has caused Venezuela’s infrastructure to suffer. A result of this damage is the slowed internet speeds. An alternative many gold farmers have seen is subscribing to services like guild web hosting. Although their connection is repaired, the added expense makes the job significantly less profitable, but it is the only option left for these hard worker gold farmers.
Due to the increasing difficulty of playing the video games while their internet connections faulter, many gold farmers are exploring opportunities in neighboring countries like Peru. After saving enough money to fund a move to a different country they are able to make money effectively. One thing that many people don’t realize is that there are a ton of people that look down on the gold farmers. Ranging from the community as evidenced by this reddit thread as well as rules that are established by the creators of each game, they are shunned by the entire gaming community. These people need to understand that the gold farmers don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience but unfortunately gold farming is the only option to make ends meet for some people in Venezuela.
Due to an increasing popularity and public knowledge of the opportunity provided by various online video games, the market is starting to become flooded by Venezuelans seeking to earn a living. The average price of in game items has fallen drastically since the last year and the rising popularity of this income method may prove to be the downfall of this market. The actions that these gold farmers are doing are emulating their economic environment in the real world. Hyperinflation is becoming a reality in the virtual economies of each game.
It’s not a secret to the world nowadays how messed up the economy in Venezuela really is, when a virtual coin is worth more than the country’s Bolivar itself. World of Warcraft Gold, RuneScape Gold, Tibia Gold, GuildWars 2 Gold, everything is worth more than bolivar today indicates a problem with the economy of Venezuela.