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Venezuela's Smallest Coin Will Fill 100 SUV Tanks With Gasoline

An employee fuels a vehicle at a Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) gas station in Caracas, Venezuela, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The U.S. sanctions in response to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's contested re-election barely touch either the oil sector or country's crown jewel, oil company PDVSA.
Photographer: Wil Riera/Bloomberg

Venezuela’s highly subsidized gasoline, cheaper than anywhere in the world, could be more expensive starting next month. Why? The smallest coin that will be available in the market will be enough to fill 100 SUV tanks.

The bizarre situation is the result of a rapidly depreciating currency, hyperinflation and ridiculously low prices for fuel. President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to redenominate the bolivar on Aug. 20 by lopping off five zeroes means that 50-cent coins for the new “sovereign” bolivar will be worth 50,000 of the old (and poorly named) “strong” bolivar. It currently takes only 500 of the older style of bolivars to fill up a truck’s tank.