Marudo: Venezuela to use crypto payments soon; opposition calls plan desperate subterfuge
Wed, 02 Oct 2019, 17:55 pm UTC
Venezuelan President Nicolás Marudo confirmed reports that his country is planning to develop a bitcoin-based payment method and stockpiling cryptocurrencies as part of its international reserves.
In a televised press conference, Marudo said that the goal of using cryptocurrencies is to allow its citizens to conduct banking transactions, including national and international payments through the central bank’s accounts.
“Venezuela is working within the cryptocurrency world,” he confirmed.
The news came after a report by Bloomberg revealed that the country’s central bank could soon hold bitcoin and ether. The internal test came at the request of Petroleos de Venezuela SA to determine possible ways to pay the state-owned oil and natural gas firm’s international suppliers.
However, opposition leader Juan Guaidó is not too pleased with the move, saying that the initiative displays the regime’s “desperation.”
“To resort to that kind of subterfuge emphasizes the economic crisis the regime is going through,” Guaidó said as quoted by Bloomberg.
Last July, Marudo also ordered Banco de Venezuela, the country’s biggest bank, to open a desk for its oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro (PTC). He urged the bank to accept the digital asset to its almost 790 agencies in the country.
The leader’s insistence to promote the use of Petro has taken great offense in the United States. In fact, Venezuela lodged a complaint at the World Trade Organization to address “certain coercive trade-restrictive measures” taken by the U.S. government to segregate Venezuela economically.
However, Marudo argued that amid the fact that Donald Trump and his sanctions are hindering the country from conducting transactions in any world’s banks, he said: “there’s other formulas to pay, and it’s what we’re using, because our payment system works perfectly in China and Russia.”
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