It is no secret that Venezuela has been suffering increasing economic hardship during the past few years. Toshi Times has previously covered the dire situation in the nation, and how cryptocurrencies have presented a successful measure against fighting the raging inflation.
Now it seems as if the Venezuelan government, headed by the controversial President Nicolás Maduro, will go all-out on cryptocurrency to help the country escape the downward economic spiral it is currently caught in.
Amidst US sanctions, domestic unrest, and widespread food shortages, Venezuela intends to promote its state-sanctioned, oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro to an official accounting unit, or official currency, according to a recent televised statement by Maduro.
In his address, Maduro stated that ”as of next Monday, Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the Petro. It will be the second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA oil industry.”
The Petro will join the country’s current official national currency, the bolivar, as an accounting unit. Moreover, the Central Bank of Venezuela intends to wholeheartedly embrace the Petro as a means to fight increasing inflation.
In addition to promoting the Petro to an official accounting unit in the country, the bolivar will see five zeros struck off its value and rebranded as the “sovereign bolivar” as the Petro launches. Following this, Venezuela’s central bank will peg the value of the bolivar to the Petro.
Furthermore, the Petro’s value will also be used for conversion rates for international currencies. This is just the latest in a series of measures implemented by Maduro to expand the use-cases within the country for the state-sanctioned cryptocurrency.
However, promoting it to equal footing with the country’s hitherto official currency – and even tethering the bolivar to the Petro – is by far the most drastic step taken so far.
Maduro also revealed that the Venezuelan government will introduce a new salary and pricing system pegged to the Petro. This new Petro-based system has been stated by Maduro as ”mean[ing] a substantial improvement in the income of the workers.”
The IMF has recently predicted that Venezuelan inflation is about to hit 1,000,000% so any form of domestic relief from this rampant inflation should be welcome. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how the outside world reacts to this latest move.
International reactions to the Petro have not always been positive – most notably with US investors being barred from transacting Petro earlier this year, as part of a new series of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against the Latin American nation.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the cryptocurrency industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.