In a bid to revive the interest for its native cryptocurrency Petro, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has asked airlines flying out of the country to pay for its fuel in Petro. The announcement came earlier this week on January 14, during his speech at the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly, reported France24.
“I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA [Venezuelan state-owned oil company] for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on,” said Maduro.
However, he has yet no specified if this is applicable to local carriers or international airlines as well. Similarly, it is not clear if these rules are applicable to flight moving in-and-out of the Simón Bolívar International Airport.
Maduro has mentioned that the airlines can purchase the fuel using the PetroCard. Note that the PetroCard can convert international currencies like the USD to the Petro cryptocurrency.
“We are opening roads to the new economy. We are building a world for the peace and integration of peoples, their happiness and improvement,” he added.
Pushing Use of Petro amidst Crashing Economy
In the last few years, Venezuela’s economy has been on a tailspin due to heavy sanctions by the United States. The country is facing hyper-inflation as the Bolivar currency has crashed massively.
To avoid the impact of these sanctions, the Venezuelan government led by President Nicolas Maduro officially presented their crypto project in December 2017 and announced the presale of the Petro cryptocurrency in February 2018. Since then, the government has announced new schemes for pushing the Petro use in the economy.
Recently, the President also said that all taxes and utility bills should be paid in Petro. Furthermore, he also mentioned that Venezuela will be selling all its oil and gold produce in Petro. “We’re opening a path to a new economy, to break old protocols and bureaucracies,” he added.
The government claims that nearly 400 businesses started accepting payments in Petro as of November 2019. Also, Maduro announced a $30 as holiday bonus for public workers, pensioners, and soldiers for signing up for the PetroApp payments platform and the state-backed cryptocurrency wallet. Note that the minimum monthly wage in Venezuela is just $10.
“Many people don’t want to move to the Petro because their business is in dollars. We will look at them closely. The Petro will cut the mafias’ hands-off”, added Maduro in his recent speech.
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