Venezuela has been working hard to establish itself as the first country to launch a national cryptocurrency – the Petro. The government announced that the cryptocurrency is to mitigate issues associated with traditional fiat currency.
Upon announcement of the Petro, the United States launched a tirade against its adoption because imposition would render its sanctions ineffective. Although the petro was scheduled to be launch in March 2018, it had not done so. Thereafter, Venezuela announced that it “would be effective as convertible currency in the country.”
The lack of adoption also surprised the cryptocurrency community in Venezuela. There were several changes to the Petro’s white paper the day it was supposed to launch. By the end of October, the government said that the petro would be available on November 1 for purchase through several cryptocurrency exchanges and with cash through the national treasury.
Interestingly enough, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that workers are entitled to monetary compensation of 266 petros. This is significant because the ruling recognizes the petro as legal tender. Several sectors have criticized using cryptocurrencies as money because they believe that the only currency in the country should be the Bolivar.
After the ruling, the court also ordered that the legislature issue a “Constituent Decree on Cryptoactives and the Sovereign Cryptocurrency Petro.”
The order is meant to safeguard the petro and to promote other cryptocurrencies as a valid form of payment. Article 9 of the legislation states,
“The Venezuelan State shall promote and guarantee the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in public institutions [and] private companies . . . inside and outside the national territory.”
Right now, there seems to be an issue acquiring the Petro. The government seems to be working on developing the infrastructure to ensure success.