Petro crypto ‘gifts’ await retirees, pensioners in Venezuela

Since the launch of the Petro about a year ago, the Venezuelan government has tried every possible method to push for its usage. The Petro, which President Nicolas Maduro has been fully behind, has however struggled to garner users in Venezuela, despite the country suffering from an unstable economy and hyperinflation. And now, in order to further accelerate its use, the country is targeting pensioners.

According to local outlet Venepress, President Maduro has announced that the country’s pensioners and retirees will be paid in Petro.

This is not the first time the president has forced the use of the digital currency on the citizens. As CoinGeek reported last year, Venezuelans were infuriated with a similar government move that saw them receive their monthly pensions in Petro. The citizens depend on these monthly bonuses to help them cope with the high cost of living in the South American country, caused by hyperinflation. Before this, the government had been dispersing the bonuses through a mobile wallet.

In yet another unexpected move, Maduro ordered the country’s leading bank to accept Petro. As revealed by the Venezuelan Minister of Finance at the time, Maduro ordered Banco de Venezuela to open Petro desks in all its branches. The move was welcomed by Petro proponents, including the President of Venezuela’s National Cryptocurrency Association Jose Alvarez who described it as “a bold and correct decision to move forward towards a hybrid economy where the fiduciary currency of a country competes face to face with cryptocurrency.”

While the use of cryptos is undeniably welcome in Venezuela, Petro is not the answer. The government still has firm control on the Petro and can mint as much as it wants, not any different from the country’s bolivar. Venezuela’s National Council of Commerce and Services admitted as much, urging the use of cryptos, but calling out Petro for its fundamental weaknesses.

In a statement, the group stated:

The petro has diverse problems and flaws of origin that make it difficult to really know what may be its application in the economy. What is undeniable is the importance and relevance of the use of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela, given the limitations suffered by citizens and companies when it comes to mobilizing their money.

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