Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has reportedly approved the registration of 16 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, months after introducing regulations for the emerging space.
According to local publication Correo del Orinoco, the authorities granted approval to for the exchanges to list Venezuela’s newly released cryptocurrency, the petro.
Just this weekend, Venezuelan authorities shut down two cryptocurrency exchanges, ordering them to suspend operations as part of a crackdown against the growing bolivar-to-bitcoin market. On the same day, Venezuela’s Prosecutor General seized 1,382 bank accounts with balances exceeding $10.6 million.
The daily newspaper cites Maduro who was speaking at an energy conference during the weekend. Although he hopes that these exchanges will start listing Petro soon, none of them did confirm the inclusion of the Venezuelan government backed cryptocurrency.
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The decision also comes during a rapid increase in the usage of cryptocurrencies. There seems to be ever-increasing excitement about the cryptocurrency in Venezuela amid growing economic chaos, and the highest inflation rate in the world.
Recent data from VeneBloc pointed out that Venezuelans’ Bitcoin trading volume has jumped to the equivalent of $1.009 million in bolivars on April 17.
Correo del Orinoco revealed the names of the newly-approved exchanges, which mostly have international roots and are expanding operations locally in the country. The following platforms have been given the green light for a Venezuelan launch.
• Asesoría Financiaera CA
• Amberes Coin
• Cave Blockchainge
• Valoratta Casa de Bolsa
• Criptoventraige CA
• Criptoactivo Menets CA
• Criptoactivo Bancar CA
• Criptomundo Casa de Intercambio CA
• Inversiones Financieras 1444 CA
• Criptoactivo Criptoes
President Nicolas Maduro is also claiming that the pre-sale of Petro has raked in $3 billion and a record number of verified purchases. Maduro expressed that the money that has been raised during the pre-sale, will go toward the country’s economy and current financial crisis.
Maduro hopes the Petro will help the country make financial transactions and get around Western sanctions. However, some analysts argue the vast majority of the frenzy surrounding PTR is either a scam or far too ambitious for its own good.