Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the country’s leading bank to accept the Petro cryptocurrency. According to a tweet by the country’s Minister of Finance, the president wants Banco de Venezuela to accept the crypto in all its branches.
Maduro issued the order during an event marking the tenth anniversary of the nationalization of the bank, with Venezuela having purchased it in 2009 from the Santander Group. Specifically, he issued an express order to “open Petro desks in all the branches of the Bank of Venezuela.”
#EnVivo | Pdte. @NicolasMaduro: Doy la orden expresa para que se abran taquillas de transacciones de El Petro en todas las agencias del Banco de Venezuela#TrabajoPazYProduccion#10AñosBDV pic.twitter.com/mTMy8j2xs7
— MPPEFCE (@MinEcoFinanzas) July 3, 2019
The move was welcomed by some members of the Venezuelan crypto community. The president of the National Cryptocurrency Association (ASONACRIP), Jose Angel Alvarez, believes that the move could finally catapult the Petro into national use. He told CCN:
“It is 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. We should also note that Banco de Venezuela is the most important bank in the Venezuelan financial system and has the most significant number of clients. With this decision, this bank would become one of the exchanges with more physical offices in the world.”
President Maduro has been relentless in his push for Petro in the country and beyond. While the crypto has faced widespread criticism the world over, and even been banned by some countries including the U.S., Maduro has held on to the belief that the crypto will be the country’s savior.
In May this year, it emerged that Venezuela was in talks with Russia for the use of Petro in trade between the two countries. Venezuela’s U.N. representative Jorge Valero revealed in an interview that the two countries would also explore the use of the Russian ruble as they both sought alternatives to the U.S. dollar. Both countries face several sanctions from the U.S.
And despite the difficulties that the Petro has faced, it has managed to convince some other nations that crypto is the way to go in the fight against U.S. sanctions. Recently, Cuban president announced on national TV that his government was considering plans to introduce a national cryptocurrency. The country, which is a close ally of Venezuela, believes that the plan can boost national productivity and stimulate the growth of the economy.
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