Venezuela’s real world currency – the bolivar – is worth less than fake gold in Azeroth, the mythical setting of World of Warcraft.
At least, that’s the case if you judge the black market value of the bolivar, one of the most popular ways to change money in the country.
“Kaleb,” a Twitter user who claims to be a Venezuelan citizen, was the first to note the state of the country’s currency crisis earlier this month, saying the black market value of the bolivar (which is notably different than the official exchange rate set by the government) had fallen below that of the massively multiplayer game’s in-game gold.
Things haven’t improved since then. Dolar Today, which tracks the black market rate of the bolivar, says the currency has since slipped to 12,197 per dollar.
Compare that to the price of WoW tokens, official in-game credits that can be used to extend a player’s play time or buy in-game items. Tokens can be bought with either $20 real world cash or sold for a fluctuating amount of in-game gold. One tracking service lists the current gold price of a token as 129,631 pieces (as of Tuesday morning). That works out to about 6,482 gold pieces per dollar.
Translation? World of Warcraft virtual gold is worth just under twice as much as the bolivar.
Of course, that’s assuming you don’t go by the government’s official exchange rate – which is about 10 bolivar to one U.S. dollar, something locals try to avoid (even though using the black market to exchange money can carry a six-year jail sentence).
The value of the bolivar has plunged in value amid skyrocketing inflation in Venezuela. Last November, the currency lost 60% of its value against the dollar in a single month.