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Venezuela Further Ties Economy To Its National Crypto




Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has announced the petro will become an official unit of account, with salaries and prices anchored to the oil-backed national cryptocurrency.

In a recent announcement, President Maduro of Venezuela said the petro, along with the soon to be released sovereign bolivar, will become an official accounting unit for Venezuela starting Monday. Spanish newspaper ABC reported that Maduro made the televised announcement Monday, during which he said:

"Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the petro. It will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA [state-owned] oil industry." 

He also said the Central Bank of Venezuela "will begin to publish the official figures of the value of the sovereign bolivar according to the petro and the value of the petro according to international currencies."

These changes are set to go into effect on Monday, declared by the president to be a non-working day in order to transition to the new national currency, the sovereign bolivar. The sovereign bolivar will replace the bolivar, taking five zeros from the earlier currency as part of the nation's attempt to fight the out-of-control inflation that has plagued the country.

He also announced there will be a new salary and price system tied to the petro, claiming the change "will mean a substantial improvement in the income of the workers."

Maduro has made bold claims about the petro since first announcing the creation of the oil-backed cryptocurrency last year. The petro is controversial, however. A Brookings Institution article argued the petro would not be able to stabilize the Venezuelan economy. Some Venezuelans believe the creation of the currency was illegal, and news outlets have repeatedly pointed out that Maduro has never provided any evidence the sale of the cryptocurrency has generated the revenue he claims it has. 

Translations by Google.

Tim Prentiss

Tim Prentiss has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno. He lives in Reno with his daughter. In his spare time he writes songs and disassembles perfectly good electronic devices.

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