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Venezuela has decided to use its state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, to fund its ambitious housing scheme.
Ildemaro Villarroel, the country’s Minister of Habitat and Housing, confirmed this news in an announcement made on a government website. The minister agreed confidently that by funding the project through the country’s pet cryptocurrency, Petro, there are more guarantees that the initiative will be completed as per its defined agenda.
The minister also noted that the decision will allow private investors to contribute to the housing scheme by financing the project through the stock markets. Joselit Ramírez, the supervisor of the cryptocurrency, agreed that President Maduro’s decision to cash on the crypto payment method was a “brilliant idea” and will enable the state to fight against the harsh economic sanctions imposed on it by the U.S.
It should be noted that Venezuela has become target of comprehensive U.S. sanctions after the 2014 Venezuelan protests. The act titled ‘Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014’ was signed by President Obama after the United States alleged gross human rights violation in the follow-up of the protests. It resulted in the freezing of many Venezuelan assets.
In the subsequent years, several more sanctions were imposed by the U.S. in a bid to enervate the economic capacity of the country. In the aftermath of these sanctions, a growing restlessness has seized the government officials in Venezuela, prompting President Maduro to utilize the Venezuelan state-backed cryptocurrency to fund his ambitious projects such as this housing scheme.
Ildemaro praised the president’s decision and offered his unstinting commitment to follow the Petro inventive plan to ensure the transformation of the Venezuelan economy amid the ensuing economic sanctions.
Greater Reliance on the Petro Cryptocurrency
Venezuela’s growing reliance on Petro is evident from a number of financing initiatives taken by the President of the country. For instance, previously the President has ordered that pensions will be paid out in Petro, regardless of the citizens’ consent. The call was met with criticism since there are limited ways to access the digital currency and benefit from its value.
Furthermore, Venezuelan diplomacy has proactively been seeking cooperation of friendly nations to let Venezuela trade in Petro in the oil markets and in the global markets. Currently, both trades primarily occur in the U.S. dollars.
There are numerous of other examples of how Venezuela is striving hard to fight back the economic sanctions using cryptocurrency. But the efforts are being hampered by successive U.S. sanctions. Last year, the final nail in the coffin was hit when President Donald Trump announced sanctions on the Petro. It remains to be seen how Venezuela survives these measures.