Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro just can’t seem to take a hint when it comes to the Petro.
The Petro is Failing and Will Continue to Do So
In another effort to push Venezuela’s failed national cryptocurrency, Maduro has announced that retirees and pensioners within the country are set to receive financial bonuses in Petro funds this Christmas, but does anyone really care?
The currency was first introduced in early 2018 through an initial coin offering (ICO). While Maduro claimed to have sold billions of dollars-worth, there is little evidence supporting this. In addition, despite the currency saying that it is somehow backed by the country’s oil supplies, its whitepaper makes no mention of this.
Many have had a hard time regarding how to classify the currency. On one hand, many countries are looking to initiate their own state-backed digital coins as a means of keeping their financial infrastructures alive and competing with the likes of projects like Libra. The Petro is arguably the first example of this, which means Venezuela may have a lot to teach other nations.
At the same time, it has not been successful either in implementation or in garnering followers. There are simply too many controversial points surrounding the cryptocurrency, and as a result, figures like U.S. president Donald Trump have sought to place bans on Petro trading.
Initially, Maduro tried to initiate a plan that would ensure Venezuelan workers were paid not in the country’s failed fiat currency – the bolivar – but in Petro funds. Unfortunately, this little tactic failed to make any headway, and the plan was halted before it even officially began.
You know the Petro is a problematic monetary tool considering how badly the bolivar has done over the past few years. The bolivar has been a constant subject of inflation, which has led the country of Venezuela into a substantial period of poverty that doesn’t appear to be subsiding anytime soon. Market shelves are often bare and present no necessities to shoppers, and many people are attacking zoo animals to put food on their tables.
And despite all this, the Petro still hasn’t garnered the attention it likely wants. Thus, if nobody wanted to be paid in Petro funds, why would anyone want their holiday bonuses in it? The fact is that the Petro is arguably useless and attempts to ensure its survival have either been weak or misguided.
Not Making Any Headway
Still, the Petro whitepaper explains:
The Petro will be an instrument for Venezuela’s economic stability and financial independence, coupled with an ambitious and global vision for the creation of a freer, more balanced and fairer international financial system.
This is the second time since 2018 that the country of Venezuela has tried to force Christmas bonuses in Petro funds on residents.