Venezuelan Central Bank to Open Crypto Payments

The step was taken amid a push by a state-run oil company.

The Venezuelan government is activating cryptocurrency payment methods to circumvent the international restrictions imposed on it, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

In a televised press conference on Monday, Nicolas Maduro, president of the country, said: “The finance minister and Venezuela’s central bank have new instruments which we will activate very soon so that everyone can do banking transactions, as well as national and international payments through the central bank’s accounts.”

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“Venezuela is working within the cryptocurrency world.”

This came only a week after the publication revealed that the Venezuelan central bank is testing methods to store cryptocurrencies in its national reserves. The step was pushed by the state-run oil and natural gas company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), which is seeking payment in Bitcoin and Ethereum from its suppliers.

In addition, amid the financial crisis in the country, its population also turned towards digital currencies for making day-to-day transactions.

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Many proposals also pushed the government to add its crypto holdings in the central bank’s national reserves.

Maduro also pointed out the sanctions imposed against it by the United States and said: “Donald Trump and his sanctions are blocking Venezuela from carrying out transaction in any of the world’s banks…There’s other formulas to pay, and it’s what we’re using, because our payment system works perfectly in China and Russia.”

A flop attempt to introduce sovereign crypto

Last year, the Venezuelan government launched a sovereign digital currency backed by the country’s oil reserves and other commodities. However, it failed to uplift the country’s financial distress as other major countries opposed the move and blocked its international penetration.

Meanwhile, the country’s opposition leader was quick enough to come out against President Maduro’s move.

“The regime’s use of cryptocurrency shows desperation,” Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition, said. “To resort to that kind of subterfuge emphasizes the economic crisis the regime is going through.”

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