Venezuela introduces new banknotes as inflation soars

The central bank says the new bolivar bills of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 will gradually start to circulate on Thursday as a way to make payments and transactions "more efficient."

The biggest new bill is about the equivalent of $10, which is more than the monthly minimum wage in a country whose economy has been shrinking drastically for years. Until now, the biggest denomination was the 500-bolivar note.

Debit cards are a common form of payment in Venezuela, where the currency is worth so little that big piles of already scarce cash are needed for even relatively small transactions.

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