Venezuela wants to introduce a new digital currency to allow crypto payments in every day life. President Nicolas Maduro stated that the government will introduce a cryptocurrency ‘very soon’, as reported by Bloomberg. This payment method will allow citizens of the South American country to do national and international transactions for free. Maduro wants everybody to be able to use this cryptocurrency system.
So Venezuela is planning to introduce its own national currency for payments. The Central Bank will be behind these plans together with the Ministry of Finance. All transactions will be supervised by the government, giving the state more power. Open currencies like bitcoin and dash don’t have the problem of a state overseeing things, even though a state can track transactions on the blockchain of course.
Obviously this sounds like a major step for a country, but this is Venezuela we’re talking about. This country already has a cryptocurrency called Petro, which is backed by national oil reserves. Citizens of the country have embraced currencies like bitcoin and dash. They do this to flee from the massive inflation that has destroyed the national bolivar currency. There are already alternatives for the bolivar, and people are using them already.
Crypto payments already part of life in Venezuela
Venezuela is in a financial crisis. The bolivar is making a free fall and citizens use foreign money to survive. But there are foreign currency shortages, and inflation is still increasing. Therefore cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular.
The government is making payments in petro mandatory. According to reports people need to use the petro for passport applications and other government services. Often the government doesn’t even accept bolivar anymore.
Some major retailers in the country now accept payments in multiple cryptocurrencies. For example fast-food chain KFC is accepting dash as a payment option. While sandwich chain Subway and pizza franchise Papa John’s also accept crypto. According to the Dash Merchant Venezuela foundation there are over 2500 merchants in the country that accept the currency.
Also published on Medium.