Venezuelans want nothing to do with the Petro cryptocurrency, a new report has revealed. The report claims that merchants in the country are refusing to accept payment in Petro, despite the government’s push towards this. Some are even branding the Petro a scam, revealing that it’s leading them to incur huge losses and derail their businesses.
The report by local outlet Tal Cual revealed that merchants are now staying away from the Petro. This is because once they try to liquidate the crypto, they are receiving devalued amounts of the Bolivar. According to the merchants, the Bank of Venezuela uses the rate at the time of purchase. This is ineffective because of the hyperinflation the country is experiencing and ends up leading to losses for the merchants.
The merchants claim that their woes began in December last year when the Bank of Venezuela began delaying making Bolivar payments to Petro owners, citing maintenance issues. “Inflation does not wait for maintenance … It is impossible for merchants to offer biopayment when you do not pay. There is not a single supplier that accepts petros,” one of the merchants, Octavio Malave told the outlet.
The inefficient Petro liquidation process is posing a serious threat to businesses, with some of them unable to restock their shops, Josefina Salvatierra, the executive director of the Consecomercio stated. She added, “The few who are liquidating are doing so to the indicator of the moment in which the sale was made, which obviously aggravates the situation even more because in a hyperinflationary process it is very difficult to sell on credit without practically indexing the debt.”
The Consecomercio is the country’s National Council of Commerce and Services.
For some like María Carolina Uzcátegui, the Petro is nothing more than a scam. Uzcátegui, who is the former leader of the Consecomercio stated, “The petro is a scam for the merchant, because undoubtedly what he could do at the beginning of the year with that money is not the same thing he can do at this time.”
But while the merchants find it near impossible to cope with the Petro, the president is determined to force it on them. According to a separate report by the Tal Cual, President Nicolas Maduro intends on reintroducing price control police across the South American country. The police will ensure that merchants adhere to predetermined prices, a move that it hopes can curb the runaway inflation, which is now the highest in the world. The police could also be used to sway the merchants towards the use of the Petro as the government continues to force the crypto on its people.
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