Is Venezuela's currency VEF or VES

Bolivar fuerte (VEF) in Euro conversion

The bolivar fuerte or soberano

Bolivar fuerte: Venezuela currency

TheBolivar fuerte (VES, abbreviated in the country as Bs, BsF or more recently as Bs.S), divided into 100 centss, is the currency of the South American country Venezuela. The actual currency designation is Bolivar, or. Bolivares In the national language Spanish, but due to ongoing inflation, the currency has been revalued several times and the name has also been changed to differentiate. The first such revaluation took place in 2008 and the currency was then called Bolivar fuerte. 2018 became a renewed currency move carried out and the designation Bolivar soberano introduced. The official currency denomination is still bolivar; the addition fuerte or soberano is not found on banknotes or coins.

History of the Venezuelan bolivar

The name of the currency Venezuela is derived from Simon Bolivar from. This was a Independence fighter and national hero of several South American states, as he led them from the Spanish colonial empire to independence in several wars around 1800.

The bolivar was 1879 as official Means of payment introduced and replaced the Venezolano in a ratio of 1: 5 and corresponded to 4.5 g of fine silver. From 1910 it was the only means of payment. The Gold bolivar has been 1887 introduced. Although the gold bond was abandoned in 1930, the bolivar was still considered that for the next 50 years or so most stable currency in the region and was also internationally recognized. But since 1983 it has been in a row Economic crisis (Venezuela's Black Friday) in permanent devaluation, which makes the use of a currency converter for conversion inevitable and can help against nasty surprises (conditionally, see below). In 2003 the then president Hugo Chavez as a result of an oil workers' strike Capital controls put into effect, which made it impossible to freely exchange the bolivar for other currencies such as the dollar or euro. At the same time, a meanwhile was created flourishing black market. Its prices for other currencies were initially even published, but this was made a criminal offense in 2007.

Currency performance

Currency fluctuations in Venezuela seem to know only one direction: down. The Venezuela currency is losing because of the high Inflation rates constantly on value, both in terms of official and swarm market value. Due to the ongoing devaluation, there was a in 2008 Currency cut: the bolivar fuerte was born by three zeros deleted were. Out 1,000 bolivars became 1 bolivar fuerte (BsF).

The value of the Bolivar was in 2008 when the BsF was introduced 2.15 BsF for $ 1, that's how he stood out until 2017 2,010 BsF at USD 1However, on the black market the price for one dollar at that time was 6,100 BsF.

In August 2018, another currency cut was made in the ratio 100.000:1 carried out and the bolivar soberano (Bs.S) was born. Politically it was and is unwanted to issue larger banknotes, so that the largest available note is available 500 bolivars which was worth about $ 10 at the time. The Bolivar soberano became in September 2018 to a value of 60:1 to the dollar traded, the value was already 3,300: 1 in January 2019 and 5,200: 1 in May 2019. As you can see: a Currency converter is more than necessary when it comes to converting the currency of Venezuela, but only partially applicable due to the political and above all economic situation in the country, as will be explained below.

Venezuela currency


As you can imagine, coins are no longer relevant in monetary transactions. Nevertheless, they are currently still available in the nominal values ​​of 50 centimos and 1 bolivar.  

According to the 2018 currency average, new banknotes introduced, which are very similar in appearance to the meanwhile worthless old bolivar fuerte. Also is called Currency denomination still only uses bolivares, which makes it difficult for tourists to distinguish between them. There is therefore a great risk of being cheated when changing or returning money. A problem that even the best currency converter in the world, like ours, cannot solve.

The notes are available in nominal values ​​of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 bolivars. The design bears the portrait of a famous personality on the vertically oriented front, while an image of an animal from the rich fauna of the country is shown on the horizontally oriented back.


  • Payments by cash became practically impossible due to the lack of availability of banknotes and the inadequate nominal values. Everything has to be processed by credit or debit card, which leads to problems in rural regions due to a lack of infrastructure.
  • 2017 became a 100,000 BsF banknote introduced. The problem with this is that the design of the banknote is almost identical to that of each of the old 100 BsF notes. It's just a little lighter. This visual equality is almost perfected with the imprint of the nominal value of 100 instead of 100,000. This is a problem especially for tourists, as it opens the door to fraud when changing money.
  • The government now has its own Cryptocurrencyg introduced (Petro), with the help of which you want to get the cash problem under control. How this worldwide unique experiment will end is questionable. The population is more likely to rely on cryptocurrency Dash, which also allows payment by means of SMS and therefore Cell phones enables

Problems with the conversion

There are two official exchange rates in Venezuela: The one forCash and those forcashless payment transactions. In addition, prices for goods and services are calculated at the black market rate, but tourists can only buy at the official and inferior value BsF (actually soberano). In addition, when using credit cards, you cannot see the rate at which the conversion is being made. The system provides for the government to allocate foreign currency at preferred rates, but this is scarce. It's a very complex system and it can make you feel that way Currency loss of unbelievable 99,995% can suffer: around March 2017, a young man at Caracas airport paid 15,000 bolivars for coffee and snacks with his debit card; 1,400 euros were debited from his account in Europe!

This also explains why tourists nowadays steer clear of Venezuela. On the one hand, there is hardly any cash left, on the other hand, the cashless payment systems are intransparent and cause the problems listed. with himself. Even the best currency converter can only do this when converting conditionally helpful and at best provide guidance.