President of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, declares that the compensation of Christmas bonuses for Venezuelan pensioners and retirees is in the native cryptocurrency Petro (PTR).
The Twitter profile of local news outlet Venepress reported Maduro’s announcement on November 17.
This particular example is not the first time Venezuela converted pension bonuses into Petro. Moreover, in the past, there have been attempts to push PTR into the wallets of pensioners as well.
As reported in December last year, Venezuela back then automatically converted pensioners’ monthly bonuses into PTR for the year.
Petro in Venezuelan Economy
The government of Venezuela launched the pre-sale of the world’s first national, oil-backed crypto asset in February last year. To trade and buy-in PTR, investors need to download a digital Petro wallet, which the Venezuelan government developed. It was then the alternative way to save the nation’s economy from a meltdown. Maduro has stated that the PTR will serve as a unit of account. Moreover, he presented it as a panacea for everything from homelessness to youth unemployment.
However, it raised concerns among foreign observers at the beginning. As a result, experts scathingly denounced PTR as an intransparent ‘stunt’ backed by a centralized and debt-saddled entity.
CEO of Lima-based crypto exchange BitInka, Roger Benites, says that he believes Maduro is using Petro and blockchain technology as a ‘smoke curtain.’ According to Benites, the Venezuelan president is trying to distance his actions from the former president Hugo Chavez superficially.
Still, in general, the local government is increasingly pushing national crypto and cryptocurrencies.
According to Francisco Torrealba, the Deputy of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, all currencies will be replaced by cryptocurrencies in the future. Talking about Venezuela, Torrealba said that the country is facing a significant change, and Maduro is making a considerable contribution to Venezuela by creating the Petro.