CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he’s tackling the country’s staggering inflation by lopping three zeros off the increasingly worthless bolivar currency.
Maduro announced the strategy in a state television broadcast Thursday. He said the new banknotes should begin circulating in early June.
Oil-rich Venezuela is caught in a spiraling economic crisis with hyperinflation that has made cash hard to find. Food and medicine are in short supply.
The cash shortage has spiked as opposition lawmakers say the inflation rate has soared above 6,000 percent.
Venezuela’s largest bill now in wide circulation is the 100,000-bolivar note, worth less than 50 U.S. cents.
Maduro is seeking re-election this year. His announcement comes as Venezuela unveils its own form of bitcoin, called the petro.