Venezuela's Maduro Vows to Revive Petro Coin in His Annual Address

(Bloomberg) -- President Nicolas Maduro pledged to revive Venezuela's failed cryptocurrency for everything from oil sales to passport fees in his state of the union address to the Constituent Assembly on Tuesday.

Maduro said state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA would begin "exploratory sales" of 50,000 barrels a day in Petros, after which it would weigh selling all of the nation's production in the elusive cryptocurrency. Going forward, taxes and utility bills will also be paid for in Petros, he said.

"We're opening a path to a new economy, to break old protocols and bureaucracies," Maduro said. "The crisis forced us to strengthen our creative capacity, to find answers where we didn't have them, to seek innovative strategies to overcome difficulties and adversities."

Maduro's remarks signal efforts to resurrect the state-issued cryptocurrency rolled out with great fanfare in early 2018 that's yet to yield results. The Petro was introduced of as a way to navigate around wide-reaching U.S. sanctions that have cut the cash-strapped nation off from international capital markets. Shortly thereafter, the currency itself was sanctioned as well.

What Broke Venezuela's Economy and What Could Fix It: QuickTake

While stores are obligated to print prices in Petros and its exchange rate to the Chinese yuan or the Russian ruble is published by Venezuela's central bank on a daily basis, its remains largely symbolic. Banners with the Petro symbol adorn government buildings in downtown Caracas, yet most people have no idea how or where to buy one.

"Many people don't want to move to the Petro because their business is in dollars. We will look at them closely. The Petro will cut the mafias' hands off," Maduro said.

Maduro's remarks also mark a separation from the U.S. dollar, the currency that's been largely adopted in the hyperinflation-wracked country, and which the president credited with an economic recovery and resurgence of production in a November interview.

In September, Venezuela's central bank ran internal tests to determine whether it could hold cryptocurrencies in its reserves at the behest of PDVSA, which sought to send Bitcoin and Ethereum to the central bank and have the monetary authority pay the oil company's suppliers with the tokens.

--With assistance from Alex Vasquez and Fabiola Zerpa.

To contact the reporters on this story: Patricia Laya in Caracas at;Nicolle Yapur in Caracas Office at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at, Robert Jameson

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Dems pick Whitmer, Escobar for Trump State of Union response
Dems pick Whitmer, Escobar for Trump State of Union response

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Feb. 4. Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas will deliver the Spanish-language response. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement

Trump Lawyers Still Plan to Start Saturday: Impeachment Update
Trump Lawyers Still Plan to Start Saturday: Impeachment Update

(Bloomberg) -- House managers will wrap up their case against President Donald Trump on Friday, completing three days of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. Trump's lawyers are set to begin presenting his defense on Saturday.Here are the latest developments:Trump Lawyers Still Plan to Start Saturday (10:19 a.m.)Trump's lawyers still plan to open their defense on Saturday, an administration official familiar with the matter said Friday, hours after the president tweeted that Saturday is the "Death Valley" of television."After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin' Chuck...

Anti-Trump GOP Group Targets Maine
Anti-Trump GOP Group Targets Maine's Collins: Impeachment Update

(Bloomberg) -- House managers, led by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, present their case for removing Donald Trump from office for a second day Thursday in the president's Senate impeachment trial.Here are the latest developments:Anti-Trump GOP Group Targets Maine's Collins (10:18 a.m.)A group of prominent conservatives who oppose Trump launched an ad campaign accusing Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican seeking re-election in Maine this year, of "covering for Trump" as the Senate begins his impeachment trial.On Tuesday Collins voted with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell against Democratic requests to subpoena Trump administration officials and documents. She was the...

Nigeria Surprised by News of Possible U.S. Travel Restrictions
Nigeria Surprised by News of Possible U.S. Travel Restrictions

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria's government was surprised by the news that the U.S. is considering travel restrictions on its citizens and the ban would mean officials will have to find new ways to meet with investors, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.Nigeria is one of seven countries, more than half of which are in Africa, included in a list that may be affected if the Homeland Security Department's recommendation to expand restrictions is approved, according to a person familiar with the matter. President Donald Trump is reviewing it. The other African states targeted because of security concerns are Eritrea, Sudan and Tanzania."It will mean restrictions in being able to meet with investors...

Biden Holds Onto National Lead in New Poll
Biden Holds Onto National Lead in New Poll

(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden is holding onto his lead among Democratic voters according to a national Monmouth University poll out Wednesday.Among registered voters, Biden carried 30% followed by Bernie Sanders with 23% and Elizabeth Warren with 14% less than two weeks before the first voters weigh in. Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University's Polling Institute, says the national numbers have remained stagnant but there's room for upset after the first caucus and primary.Michael Bloomberg had 9%, followed by Pete Buttigieg with 6%, Amy Klobuchar with 5% and Andrew Yang with 3%. Since the last Monmouth University poll a month ago, Biden has risen 4 percentage points, Sanders 2 and...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Africa