The new interim leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, has never been a supporter of the Nicolas Maduro leadership’s Petro-cryptocurrency, according to reports. The Petro was hailed as the cure-all to the country’s financial ills and was marketed by the authorities as a means of circumventing debilitating US sanctions by monetising Venezuela’s primary export, oil, to a vast global market of investors without the need of the US Dollar.
The Petro cryptocurrency was available to buy using Bitcoin or Litecoin, but the people of Venezuela themselves were not interested in it and were instead loading up on Bitcoin. Because of the financial crisis devastating the country, citizens were using Bitcoin as a safe-haven asset, making Bitcoin-based transaction volumes soar. In fact, the country became known as being the home of the most prolific bitcoin traders on the planet, relative to the country’s population.
Guaido has always been hostile towards the Petro. In a tweet in December 2017 he claimed that it was a way for the regime to keep scamming the people. He was promoting Bitcoin as far back as 2014 when he announced the launch of Bitcoin exchange, Plataforma Sur Bitcoin. This was the first exchange that allowed Venezuelans to buy Bitcoin using Bolivars, the local currency.
The Acting President Of Venezuela Is A Fan Of Cryptocurrency But Not The Petro
“Acting Venezuelan President is a fan of Bitcoin”, said Max Keiser. “Maduro’s Petro was never gonna work. Converting economy over to Bitcoin would be the smartest thing they could do”.
With the US President, Donald Trump and other countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada backing Guaido, it seems unlikely that he will be looking for ways to evade US sanctions.
“I don’t think the opposition leader would want to double down on a mechanism that was meant to circumvent US sanctions,” said Clay Porter of Navigant Consulting, head of investigations in the Global Investigations and Compliance department. “From a political sense, it wouldn’t make any sense for Guaido to embrace the Petro if the US government is supporting him”.
Image: testing / Shutterstock.com