Venezuela’s saving grace to their ever increasing hyperinflation, the government sponsored and natural resources-backed cryptocurrency Petro, is now available for bitcoin and litecoin buyers.
Making the announcement through social media platform Twitter, on October 29, 2018, the Venezuelan Vice president of the Economy, Tareck El Aissami posted:
“The Petro may be acquired by legal and natural persons from its web portal.” (Translated)
In order to circumvent the sanctions imposed on the socialist state, president Nicolas Maduro penned the bill to utilize the nations untapped oil reserves, which are concentrated in the Atapirire locale, to back the Petro. As the country’s economy entered a downward spiral, the government sought a way to utilize their main export to fuel the digital asset and reach foreign investors without the need of the US dollar.
The project seemed to have been in a state of confusion and was late to release, as many of the country citizenry already adopted other cryptocurrency, in particular Dash, Nano and Bitcoin, to work around the ever increasing inflation. This economic crisis has lead the adoption rate of cryptocurrencies, making Venezuelans the most population dense users of digital assets per capita.
In a move to encourage Petro use, President Maduro has ordered the financial industry to treat the cryptocurrency as equivalent to fiat currency. The digital asset has also been released a week early, with the original launch date slated for November 5, 2018. However, the Venezuelans are already cautious of the government and their methods, so adoption of the coin may not come easily.