Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, ordered to the Banco de Venezuela, the country’s leading bank, to accept the nation’s cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR).
The news came on July 4th, from the tweet of the country’s Finance Ministry. According to the tweet, the president gave the order to the Banco de Venezuela, stating that it should allow citizens to buy and trade with the Petro.
Venezuela’s native cryptocurrency
The Government of Venezuela launched the cryptocurrency in February 2018, and it’s backed by Venezuela’s reserves such as oil, gasoline, gold, etc. On 5 January 2018, president Maduro stated that Venezuela would issue 100 million tokens of the Petro, and that their value would be over $6 billion.
Launching this cryptocurrency as an official currency along with the Bolivar may have some other benefits for the Venezuelan economy. One of them is avoiding US sanctions. If you recall, in 2015, the United States sanctioned more than 150 Venezuelan companies, vessels and individuals. This was a rough hit for Venezuela’s economy.
Adoption of the Petro
In an attempt to avoid US sanctions, Venezuela is considering the use of the Petro as a medium of exchange. Moreover, the Petro is tied to the country’s fiat currency – bolivar.
President Maduro insisted that the Petro must be adopted not only by the country’s public system, but by the private banking sector as well. He also claims that the use of the Petro can save the country from hyperinflation and shortages. President Maduro stated:
I hereby order that every branch of Banco de Venezuela opens exchange desks so that everyone can transact with El Petro and start using it. This is the new world where we can lead by example. We can do this from Venezuela. The world is looking at us.
Venezuela has been fighting for years with a harsh economic situation, and this is one more of Maduro’s attempts to improve the country’s desperate situation.