President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the Bank of Venezuela (Banco de Venezuela) to accept the national cryptocurrency, Petro. The intentions of the president were conveyed by the finance ministry of the country in a tweet.
According to the message forwarded by the ministry, Maduro wants all the branches of the bank to support and accept Petro. Particularly, the president has ordered the bank to open Petro desks at all its branches.
#EnVivo | Pdte. @NicolasMaduro: Doy la orden expresa para que se abran taquillas de transacciones de El Petro en todas las agencias del Banco de Venezuela#TrabajoPazYProduccion#10AñosBDV pic.twitter.com/mTMy8j2xs7
— MPPEF (@MinEcoFinanzas) July 3, 2019
Maduro’s order was revealed during an event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bank’s nationalization. As Banco de Venezuela, founded almost 128 years ago, has about 790 branches in the entire country, the move by Maduro has been applauded by President of National Cryptocurrency Association (ASONACRIP) José Angel Alvarez.
Alvarez suggested that Maduro’s step is quite bold in order to produce a hybrid economy. While explaining the possible prospects, he elaborated:
We should also note that Banco de Venezuela is the most important bank in the Venezuelan financial system and has the most significant number of clients. With this decision, this bank would become one of the exchanges with more physical offices in the world
As Maduro has been quite optimistic regarding cryptocurrencies, his government has been pursuing cryptos for a long time. Previously, Maduro had asked banks to show support for Petro. He even decided to bring Petro on an international platform by ensuring the use of Petro in global trading.
In an attempt to stabilize the economy, Maduro even earned severe opposition from U.S. President Donal Trump. At that time, Trump approved sanctions against Venezuela. Due to the sanctions, every U.S. citizen was prohibited from using or dealing in any currency and cryptocurrency issued by Venezuela.
To make Petro popular and mainstream, Maduro even announced granting licenses to 16 cryptocurrency exchanges to sell and market Petro. Later, he authorized six exchanges, including Cave Blockchain, Bancar, Cryptia, Amberes Coin, Afx Trade, and Criptolago, to sell and market Petro. Recently, he announced allotting around $93 million to the Digital Bank of Youth and Students. The motivation behind doing so was to open one million Petro wallet accounts for the country’s youth.
Iniciamos las actividades de intercambio de criptomonedas a través del Banco Digital de la Juventud y los Estudiantes, con recursos asignados por Bs. 924 millones para la apertura de 1 millón de Cuentas Wallet. El Petro al servicio de nuestra juventud productiva. pic.twitter.com/YyYpaicA8f
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) June 20, 2019
At the beginning of 2019, Venezuela even devised a new crypto legal framework. In the crypto bill, titled “Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets”, several rules for miners, crypto entrepreneurs and regular traders were laid down. Apart from that, the basic and simple definitions of crypto assets, blockchain, mining, cryptography, etc were also clarified.
The comprehensive bill that comprised of 63 articles also mentioned punishments and fines for those not abiding by it. Violators could face as much as $6,000 fine and three years of prison, as per the rules stated in the crypto bill.
Like Venezuela, Cuba is also suffering from U.S. sanctions and hyperinflation. Similar to Maduro’s plan, aimed at tackling inflation with Petro, Cuba is also looking to utilize cryptocurrencies. Currently, Cuba is exploring and studying cryptocurrency to improve the country’s economy.
A few days back, President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel revealed on a TV show that his government is looking into cryptocurrencies to solve the crisis.
In addition to these two countries, the second populous city of South Korea, Busan, has also shown interest to launch a stablecoin. Again, Busan, while sharing the motivation of launching a stablecoin with Venezuela and Cuba, intends to improve its economy with a national cryptocurrency. Besides, Busan also wants to secure a leading position in the blockchain world. That’s why the city is very interested in launching its own blockchain bases digital asset.
The national currencies, known as the fiat, have perturbed Venezuela, Cuba and the South Korean city of Busan. To ensure that ever inflating fiat is no longer controlling the economy of a country, countries are heading towards cryptos. However, launching a stablecoin is something that is also desired by the giants of the world such as JP Morgan and Facebook. Let’s see how the stablecoins launched by countries and companies impact the markets and fulfill their respective purposes.