Venezuela starts adding Petro to bank accounts with no consent
In an attempt to reincarnate Venezuela’s state-sponsored troubled cryptocurrency, the Petro, banks such as Banesco and Mercantil have begun denominating customer balances in both the bolivar and the struggling cryptocurrency.
In the past few days, Venezuelan residents have reported seeing the Petro appear as a unit when performing their online banking. Upon logging into their accounts, customers of both Banesco and Mercantil are now presented with balances in both Petro and bolivar units, despite showing no interest in the troubled cryptocurrency.
The Petro, announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 2017, is supposedly backed by oil, though there has been little evidence to support this. Upon its introduction, there have been problems related to accessing the currency, as well as claims that it is essentially a clone of Dash. Due to the vast amount of issues associated with the currency, many in Venezuela have little interest in Petro and are instead focused on bitcoin. Bitcoin trade volumes in the region have reached record highs in recent weeks, with over 1,000 BTC being traded weekly on the P2P marketplace.
Whether Venezuelans want it or not, Maduro and the Venezuelan government unsuccessfully continue to push for the adoption of the Petro in Venezuelan markets. Given Venezuela’s problems with hyperinflation, and the dominant use of other cryptocurrencies in the region, the government may need to rethink its strategies on getting its citizens to adopt the problematic coin.