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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro orders PDVSA to accept petros for fuel payment

Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 09:00 am UTC

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a big announcement mandating PDVSA, a state-owned oil company, to only accept the state-backed digital currency, petro, as payment for the fuel they sell to airlines, CoinDesk reported.

“I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on,” Maduro said. “[W]e are opening roads to the new economy. We are building a world for the peace and integration of peoples, their happiness and improvement."

This week, Maduro ordered PDVSA to sell 4.5 million barrels of oil in petros and mandated the company to start selling 50,000 barrels per day in exchange for the cryptocurrency on a regular basis "until reaching the goal of selling all oil production in petros.

To buy fuel using the cryptocurrency, airlines can make use of "PetroCard", which can convert international currencies including U.S. dollar into petro.

Maduro has been aggressively pushing petro adoption across various sectors. However, despite the politician’s effort to make petro as popular as bolívar, only 400 businesses in the country have opened its doors for petro, the government reported in November.

To encourage more people to use petro, Maduro offered the public employees and pensioners a 0.5 petro (worth $30)-holiday bonus if they would sign up to PetroApp, a state-backed cryptocurrency wallet and payment app.

Jose Angel Alvarez, the president of the National Cryptocurrency Association, was pleased with Maduro’s efforts in promoting petro for nationwide adoption. He said that it was a “bold and correct decision to move forward towards a hybrid economy where the currency of a country competes face to face with cryptocurrency.”

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