Nicolás Maduro Orders Venezuela's Largest Bank to Accept Petro
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July 5, 2019
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Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has ordered Banco de Venezuela, the country's largest bank, to accept the Petro in all its branches, the country's Finance Ministry reported on Twitter:

Maduro gave this order during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the nationalization of the bank. It was acquired by the Spanish bank Santander in 1996; however, on July 3, 2009, it was nationalized by the Venezuelan government, led at that time by Hugo Chávez.

The bank has about 790 branches in the country.

Venezuela released the Petro, its national cryptocurrency pegged to the price of oil, in an attempt to elude the U.S. sanctions imposed on the country and to improve its battered economy.

The country's president announced his intention to launch a national crypto in December 2017, right when bitcoin was at its highest level. Shortly afterwards, in March 2018, Donald Trump banned U.S. citizens from buying the Venezuelan crypto through an executive order.

On June 19, Maduro announced the allocation of 924 million bolivars to the Digital Bank for Youth and Students to open one million Petro wallet accounts for the country's youth.

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