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Venezuela Crypto Trading Increases As Maduro Announces Petro launch

11,773

7 DAYS, $7 MILLION

Statistics covering P2P trading platform Localbitcoins show that Venezuelans converted a total of 1073 BTC ($7.1 million). The most since records began in 2013.

The previous record came in September with 900 BTC ($6 million) exchanged during week three. The following week taking third place with 879 BTC ($5.82 million).

Traders continue to turn to cryptocurrency in Venezuela to circumvent the government’s increasing stranglehold on the economy. They also rampant hyperinflation which persists despite a currency redenomination in August.

Petro, known as the country’s highly-controversial government-issued cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency in fat will have a rebranding and release in November, President Nicolas Maduro announced October 2.

DOES PETRO CONVINCE?

On Friday meanwhile, vice president Delcy Rodriguez revealed the next step towards reliance on Petro, stating all new passport applications and extensions could only be paid using it from today.

The price of a new passport will be 2 petros (7100 sovereign bolivars, currently $110) — roughly four times the national minimum wage, Bloomberg notes. Extensions will cost 1 petro.

There is a migration police force, ostensibly aiming to “preserve citizen security and migratory control”. This force will also appear, as statistics show 4100 citizens flee Venezuela every day.

Petro’s identity problems continue to plague the project at international level and among ordinary citizens critical of the Maduro regime.

In August, sources told tech publication Wired that the cryptocurrency constituted was worse in nature than the hyperinflated Reichsmark in Germany during the Weimar Republic.

Tied to oil reserves, the publication also noted state oil company PDVSA’s debts totaled $46 billion.

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