In an effort to fight back against the ill-effects of his presidency’s economic policy, Nicolás Maduro has ordered Venezuela’s banks to accept the petro digital currency as a unit of account. The Venezuelan President has also increased public’s minimum wage, price of petrol, and VAT in his latest bout of economic reforms.
Venezuela’s Banks Forced to Accept Petro
According to a resolution by the nation’s Sudeban banking regulator reported by Channel News Asia today, all banks in Venezuela must adopt the petro digital currency. The move announced yesterday aims to alleviate the economic crisis that has plagued the country for several years now.
The situation in Venezuela only seems to be worsening and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimate that the rate of inflation there will reach as high as one million per cent later this year. Millions have fled the country to escape the crisis. Those that remain are frequently turning to the safe haven provided by digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Dash to protect what little of their wealth they have left.
The new economic reforms from the central government include a 3,400% increase in the required minimum wage, an increase in the rate of VAT from 12 to 16%, and an increase in the price of petrol.
In addition to these measures, Maduro is launching an offer of gold-backed bonds. It is hoped that these will promote responsible saving strategies for the people of Venezuela. The initiative will allow the nation’s citizens to buy “lingoticos” (little ingots) and will begin in mid-September. Maduro commented on state television:
“No one can say that gold loses its value.”
The socialist president was re-voted into power for an additional six years this May. However, the elections themselves were mired with controversy and many in the international community reject them as fraudulent. Maduro hopes that by fixing the nation’s fiat currency to the newly created petro, some form of financial stability will be possible.
The petro was launched in February of this year. Recently, Maduro has mandated that it becomes the nation’s second national currency. The controversial digital currency is supposedly backed by the nation’s oil reserves. It has also been alleged that the initiative is a Russian-led experiment in evading U.S. economic sanctions.
However, the people of Venezuela are exploring other options for themselves. Earlier this month, NewsBTC reported on the Dash cryptocurrency becoming more widely accepted by Venezuela’s merchants and consumers alike. Even the likes of Subway and Calvin Klein now allow people to use the digital currency to pay for goods.
The Dash Foundation has invested around $1 million in the nation to educate the public on using digital currencies securely.
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