Nicolas Maduro urges wider purchase of Petro [PTR] as crypto-adoption surges in Venezuela


Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, introduced Petro [PTR] in 2018 to “revive” the nation’s crumbling economy. The launch of the state-backed cryptocurrency was speculated by many to be an attempt at dodging economic sanctions imposed by the US, since banking institutions had been widely affected by them.

Since its launch, Petro has been condemned by many nation states and the debate around the oil-pegged digital asset continued to rage on. On the live-streaming video platform Periscope, the President appealed to the country’s citizens to adopt the cryptocurrency in various sectors and relinquish the use of fiat. In an effort to stir adoption of the digital currency, Maduro said,

“We welcome all those who will invest in finance and banking sectors, and in the cryptocurrency Petro.”

Even as the controversy-riddled Petro’s genuineness continues to be obscure, the crypto-enthusiasts in the country are slowly initiating the trade of the digital asset.  The socialist government of Venezuela currently allows the purchase of Petro using Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Amberes, a Venezuela-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, has enabled the trading of Petro via the pair PTR/BTC. While no official figures for the asset’s trading volume were confirmed, the exchange’s spokesperson stated that there had been a considerable rise in Petro and cryptocurrency trading in the region, cited Decrypt Media.

Apart from the state-sanctioned Amberes, other platforms that facilitate the trade of Petro are Afx Trade, Bancar, Criptolago, Cave Blockchain, and Cryptia.

With the national currency undergoing devaluation and hyperinflation, the adoption of the virtual currency is the convenient option for people in the region.

A new campaign called Airdrop Venezuela, initiated by Professor Steve Hanke, is presently enabling donations in cryptocurrencies for Venezuelans. Hanke, who previously served as an economic adviser to Former President, Rafael Caldera, explained that the donated cryptocurrencies were being deposited via AirTM, an online currency exchange company. These donations were then distributed to wallets of “qualified” Venezuelan holders. People could then exchange these cryptocurrencies for “real money”, he claimed.

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