Venezuelans will have to pay for their passport fees using the government-backed Petro cryptocurrency. The Pero has been created by the government and is allegedly backed by oil and other natural reserves from the country.
The information was announced in a press conference a few days ago by Venezuela’s vice president, Delcy Rodriguez.
Petro Digital Currency to Be Used to Pay Passport Fees
The Venezuelan government is trying to expand the use of is natural reserves-backed cryptocurrency Petro. Some time ago, Nicolás Maduro stated that the virtual currency was going to be used for oil purchases. This time, it will have to be used to pay passport fees.
Rodriguez explained that the new passports will have a cost of two Petros. Passport extensions will cost half of this price. According to Bloomberg, 2 Petros are equal to four times the monthly minimum wage in the country.
Venezuela is a country that is currently experiencing difficult times. It has social, economic and political problems that the local authorities were not able to solve. According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in the country will reach 10,000,000 percent this year.
Different countries around the world and the region have implemented economic sanctions and restrictions on Venezuela. However, Maduro’s government has been taking even harder policies, harming the already devastated country.
In order to circumvent sanctions, local authorities decided to create is own virtual currency. The Petro is apparently backed by oil, gold, and diamonds from the country. At the moment, there are no countries accepting the Petro as a means of payment for goods or services. Nations such as Argentina and Poland have rejected to transact using this virtual currency.
Venezuelans have also embraced virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Dash. Since the local currency cannot be used anymore as a means of payment, citizens are using virtual currencies. Dash allows people to easily send and receive payments almost instantly and with low fees. Caracas is one of the cities with the largest number of merchants accepting Dash in the world.
Bitcoin is used as a store of value rather than as a means of payment. Individuals in the country are also mining cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum to help their families and continue with their lives. Because of this reason, the government has ordered the police to seize mining devices.
Clearly, the overall situation is very complicated in the country. The local cryptocurrency Petro does not seem to be helping Venezuelans at all. The best choice seems to continue using other decentralised virtual currencies as they have been doing in the last years.
Carlos is an international relations’ analyst specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Since 2017, Carlos has written extensively for UseTheBitcoin and other leading cryptocurrency sites; with over 2,000 articles published.