Sep 12, 2020
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has stated in a televised press conference the government is looking to “soon” activate a cryptocurrency payment method for its citizens.
According to Bloomberg, Maduro said the cryptocurrency payment method will enable new instruments for “free national and international payments,” and will allow Venezuelans to conduct banking transactions. Maduro was quoted as saying:
“The finance minister and Venezuela’s central bank have new instruments which we will activate very soon so that everyone can do banking transactions, as well as national and international payments through the central bank’s accounts. Venezuela is working within the cryptocurrency world.”
As reported the country’s central bank could soon add bitcoin and ether to its reserves, as it’s running internal tests to determine whether it can do so. This, at the request of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) which is looking to get the central bank to pay its suppliers with the cryptocurrencies.
Juan Guaido, who is recognized by dozens of countries throughout the world as Venezuela’s rightful leader, claimed the government’s use of cryptocurrencies “shows desperations” and “emphasizes the economic crisis the regime is going through.”
Venezuela has issued its own oil-backed cryptocurrency called the Petro. Its use, despite Maduro’s efforts, is seemingly low and isn’t helping the country bypass international sanctions. Venezuela’s central bank has also been accused of laundering BTC obtained with seized mining rigs.