Venezuela Now Allows Pension Payments in State-owned Cryptocurrency—Petro

Pensioner’s monthly payments can now be paid in Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency ‘Petro.’ The government has decided to convert the Bolivar (country’s fiat) into Petro, without giving any choice to the pensioners.

Usually, the pensioners of the country get a notification when their monthly payment arrives. According to the Caracas Chronicles, this time the pensioners after getting the first payment notification got a second notification that informed them that the funds were “for the concepts of Savings in Petro.” As a result, the number of pensioners depending on the bonuses provided by the government is increasing. Amidst the hyperinflation, it is disheartening for the pensioners to see their savings useless. According to Bloomberg’s Cafe Conn Leche Index, the inflation rate of the country is now getting close to 200,000 percent. As a result of this, pensioners are frequently visiting paria.org.ve (a government portal website) in order to transfer the funds to their bank accounts.

According to Caracas Chronicles, the government first deposited the bolivars to the pensioners’ bank accounts, but soon the Bolivars were converted to Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency ‘Petro.’

According to the reports from CCN, the government of Venezuela has been trying to make the country adopt the ‘Petro’ for months. The local banks of the country were ordered by the government to adopt the cryptocurrency, and it even made it an “official alternate currency” in Venezuela.

The country is trying hard to push the cryptocurrency not only within Venezuela but outside its borders too. There are endeavors for presenting the oil-backed cryptocurrency as a “unit of account for oil” to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). For instance- the government of Venezuela is ready to offer India a discount of 30 percent on oil in lieu of payment done in the cryptocurrency.

According to Cuatro F newspaper, in April, President Nicolas Maduro expressed the possibility of charging a fee for exporting in Petro. He has also launched a ‘Petro savings plan’ which allows the citizens of Venezuela to “save by means of certificate” with the help of the cryptocurrency. In the reports of ‘Telesur,’ the local news source, this savings plan is part of the ‘Comprehensive National Crypto- asset Plan.’ It is expected that in the initial phase this saving plan will incur 4 million Petros. It will be equivalent to 14,400 million sovereign bolivars, which amounts to be almost 240 million U.S. dollars.

The detailed usage of Petro is still not clear to many pensioners. Till now the only aspect of its use has been made clear- one can pay the passport fees with the cryptocurrency. This was announced by country’s vice president- Delcy Rodriguez on October 5th, in a press conference. On the other hand, in the reports of Caracas Chronicles, the possibility of the citizens of the country to covert the cryptocurrency back to Bolivars. They can do so with the help of the government portal, although it will not be an easy process. Furthering into the possible ways of using the cryptocurrency, Maduro has shared a link to an ‘8 step guide’ on how to do it, on Twitter.

Those who have purchased the Petro this year, they can only to trade it with other cryptocurrencies.
Last week, Maduro announced that the Petro would be listed on six major crypto exchanges for trading. But the controversy around the cryptocurrency kept on growing. Soon after the announcement Joey Zhou, Ethereum core developer tweeted a statement in which he called the ‘state-owned cryptocurrency’ a ‘blatant dash clone’ as per its whitepaper. Dash is getting well adopted, and the demand for it is on increase. Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, has called Venezuela the second largest market for Dash.

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