Venezuela’s government-backed cryptocurrency does not have the acceptance that the cabinet expected, as the latest reports suggest. The creator of the petro, now living in exile, wants to build a new crypto that will get the adoption that his original creation did not do in the nation.
Jiménez believed that the Petro could have given Venezuelans a “measure of freedom.”
According to a report published by Deutsche Welle, Gabriel Jimenez, a 31-year-old programmer, is seeking a “cryptocurrency revolution” in Venezuela with Reserve, a brand new token he created.
Jimenez – now living in the United States – is no stranger to the crypto community, nor to Nicolás Maduro’s government, as he was once tasked with founding the state-backed petro (PTR).
Interestingly, he was not a fan of the government as he actively participated in the street protests against Maduro. However, Jiménez thought that creating the petro token was an excellent idea to give Venezuelans “a measure of freedom” by circumventing US financial sanctions.
But Jiménez’s expectations of oil-backed petro turned out to be wrong. He noted:
I was naive then and it still pains me to see the petro being misused by the government as a political weapon.
In addition, Deutsche Welle cited reports that government officials even use petro for money laundering. That said, the 31-year-old programmer firmly believes that creating the digital asset was a mistake.
Maduro continues to promise to make Petro a widely accepted token
The Venezuelan government’s efforts to make its crypto accessible and widely accepted by the people have been making headlines since last year. In fact, despite the controversy, Venezuela was the first nation-state to implement a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the wild.
In August 2020, Bitcoin.com News reported that the Bolivarian Council of Mayors on Sunday signed Venezuela’s national tax harmonization agreement, with the cryptocurrency petro being the unit of account for the payment of taxes and fines in 305 municipalities.
Yet the government is not giving up on the petro project. In fact, in an annual speech at the National Assembly in January 2021, Maduro spoke of a “resurgence” for the PTR, pledging to drive a “100% national digital economy” agenda through a “full digitization process”.
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