The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro wants the nation state-issued cryptocurrency, petro (PTR) to have the same usability properties as a physical currency.
On December 13, Maduro explained on national television that the Superintendence of Crypto-Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) will be airdropping 0.5 PTR ($30) next week to eligible citizens who register with the Petro App.
The United Socialist Party leader and Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has been marketing the country’s cryptocurrency, the petro (PTR), aggressively recently. In November, Maduro told the public that PTR needs to be just as usable as physical currencies.
“The usability is very important, so we can distribute the petro,” Maduro explained at the time. The Venezuelan head of state noted that there are citizens who don’t have a phone, but emphasized that “usability can be done with a card.”
Maduro to Build a “Solid Monetary System”
Maduro continued by saying that just like the 18 million Venezuelans with the Carnet de la Patria (Homeland card), a card for PTR can be created. The Homeland card is a Venezuelan identity card that leverages a QR code and a digital wallet. Maduro’s announcement further stressed: We can give debit cards with petro, that is, build a solid monetary system and boost the usability of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency.
The Venezuelan leader went on to say that the state’s electronic payment system will help the country “seek a definitive exit to the economic war.” Maduro remarked that thousands of Venezuelan merchants will be onboarded by next year and the state’s digital currency system is “taking the right steps to consolidate the economy.”
The usability news from the president followed his decision to approve a total of 30 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products to Sunacrip. The 30 million barrels of oil backing the PTR is much smaller than the promised five billion barrels of oil the Venezuelan government initially pledged to leverage.
Eligible Citizens to Get a Hold of Petro Through the App
On Friday, regional reports detailed that Maduro told the public on a state television broadcast that Sunacrip would be using the state’s new digital currency payment system the Petro App to airdrop 0.5 PTR ($30) to eligible citizens. Pensioners, government personnel, and retirees can obtain the PTR bonus next week and other citizens can apply for the Petro App to find out if they are a beneficiary.
Maduro explained during the television broadcast that the airdrop will be a “test mechanism” in order to drive petro adoption. Additionally, Maduro approved the disbursement of 500 thousand petros and 10 billion bolivars to Venezuelan mayors and governors. The Venezuelan highlighted that the disbursement would be pertinent to cover expenses needed to operate the 335 municipalities in the country.
The airdrop of PTR given to pensioners, retirees, and municipal leaders will be the first of its kind when it comes to a nation state doling out its own cryptocurrency to citizens. The latest announcements show the United Socialist Party, Sunacrip, and other Venezuelan state agencies are pushing the petro hard throughout the country.
Moreover, skeptics believe the petro network is only used by bureaucrats and their friends to skip international sanctions initiated by the U.S. Similar to North Korea, Maduro’s quest to exit to the economic war may be fueled by crypto.