As of November 5th, Venezuelans may use Sovereign Bolivars, which is the Venezuelan currency, to acquire the cryptocurrency Petro. This was announced by the President of the Republic Nicolás Maduro in a meeting with his economic staff October 1st, on the occasion of the entry into force of Petro as a currency of national and international commercial exchange. Thus, the government seeks to strengthen the country’s financial system, stabilize the price scheme and stop the severe economic crisis that Venezuela has been going through since last year.
The other relevant announcements were:
- Signature of the new Petro Whitepaper. The president signed the new document that regulates the Petro and is already in force. One of the main provisions of the Whitepaper is the modification of the cryptocurrency’s price formula. Specifically, it is no longer based entirely on the price of a barrel of oil, but also incorporates other Venezuelan raw materials, which are gold, iron and diamond. According to the document, the Petro can be used to “buy Venezuelan commodities, goods and services for private use at a national and international level, the payment of taxes and public services, among others.”
- Bill on cryptocurrencies. On October 2nd, the Executive branch introduced to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) a bill on the integral system of cryptocurrencies, which is “unique in the world”, according to the Venezuelan president. ANC members sent the bill to the Productive Economy Committee for its analysis, which is expected to be completed in the coming days.
- Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies. Maduro officially inaugurated the Superintendence of Cryptoactives and Related Activities, whose task is to regulate the functioning of the Petro, in order to strengthen the Venezuelan financial system. The Superintendence had been previously created June 20th. The person in charge of the institution is Joselit Ramírez Camacho, who was general director of the Vice-Presidency of the Republic from January 4th, 2017 to June 14th, 2018. Previously, he was president of the Venezuelan Federation of Criminologists and Director of the Office of Attention to the Citizen of the Government of the Aragua State.
- Blockchain. On October 29th Nicolás Maduro will have a meeting with experts in blockchain and specialists in cryptocurrencies to make a balance of the performance of the Petro. “Venezuela is open to the world, so that all investors who wish to come please do so, as long as they are respectful and willing to dialogue”, said the Head of State.
The measures are framed within the Recovery, Growth and Economic Prosperity Plan. The program, promoted by the national government, seeks to solve the serious economic crisis that the country has been going through since last year. Other important measures in recent weeks include the entry into force of the new currency, the Sovereign Bolivar, on August 20, the limitation of the banks’ credit capacity, the establishment of the Sovereign Bolivar free convertibility throughout the country, and reforms to the Value Added Law, the Tax on Large Financial Transactions and the Income Tax Law.