Banks Obey Maduro, Venezuelans Seek Financial Alternatives
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Aug. 28, 2018
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The Central Bank of Venezuela announced the launch of an Android application for converting fiat money into a new Sovereign Bolivar. The link to the program appeared on the official Twitter account of the state’s central bank.

With the application named Calculadora Soberana, users will be able to exchange old Bolivars for the new ones, tied to the national cryptocurrency Petro. In fact, to convert, the program removes five zeros from the amount entered in the old fiat currency. By the time this article has been written, the application was downloaded at Google Play for more than 10,000 times.

Venezuela’s War on Zeros: Petro Worth $60

According to France 24, the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro has ordered all country’s banks to adopt Petro as a unit of account.

On August 20 Venezuela switched to the Sovereign Bolivar, the new, denominated currency. From the same day, one Petro started to costs $60, and the lowest salary in the country is half a Petro or 1.8 thousand bolivars.

But are Venezuelans really so much into Petro? The unstable economic climate in the country made its citizens experienced in finding the alternatives for money savings. The rates of another cryptocurrency — Dash (DASH/USD), went up by 24% mainly thanks to the interest from the Venezuelan citizens.

The Dash CEO Ryan Taylor in the interview with Business Insider said that his company sees tens of thousands of dash wallet downloads from the country.

"Earlier this year, Venezuela became our No. 2 market, even ahead of China and Russia, which are, of course, huge into cryptocurrency right now," he added.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • Venezuela became the first country to issue a national cryptocurrency. Petro has been repeatedly criticized, it is still not recognized by the international community, but this does not prevent local authorities from promoting the coin.
  • The cryptocurrency is very popular in the country because of the crisis, and calculating in Petro can help Venezuela circumvent the U.S. sanctions. With the same goal, Iran plans to establish its own national cryptocurrency.
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