President Nicolas Maduro ordered his country’s top bank, the Banco de Venezuela, to accept the cryptocurrency Petro (PTR).
Venezuela’s Ministry of Finance tweeted that Maduro gave express orders that all Bank of Valenzuela branches should open Petro desks.
The announcement was made during an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the bank.
Maduro has been determined to bring the country’s cryptocurrency to the mainstream and this order is seen as another aggressive move to promote the controversial crypto.
In June, Maduro proclaimed the allocation of 924 million bolivars, or more than $92.5 million, for the Digital Bank of Youth and Students. The money would be used to open a million Petro wallets for Venezuela’s young constituents.
Jose Angel Alvarez on the Issue
The president of Venezuela’s National Cryptocurrency Association, Jose Angel Alvarez, said to media outlet CCN that it was right to move the country towards a hybrid economy where fiduciary currency can compete with cryptocurrency on level ground.
As a matter of fact, more Venezuelans are turning to Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a way to safeguard their money as the inflation of the Bolivar continues. The country has even placed sanctions on using crypto as a way to discourage people from using it instead of Venezuela’s currency.
Despite the apparent growing interest in cryptocurrencies, the Petro has been struggling since its launch in 2018, probably due to concerns about its legitimacy.
Venezuela complained back in January against sanctions levied by the United States regarding the digital currency Petro. In March, US President Trump blocked American citizens from purchasing the Petro.