Venezuela to release petro-backed national currency in August
The Bolívar Soberano will have five less zeros than its predecessor, making it easier to count, carry and use.
The Bolívar Soberano (Sovereign Bolivar) will replace the Bolívar in Venezuela. President Maduro revealed that the new national currency will be tied to Venezuela’s controversial, unseasoned digital token, the Petro.
State news agency Telesur reports that the new, reconverted currency will be distributed on August 20, 2018.
The Bolívar Soberano will have five less zeros than its predecessor, which may make it easier for residents and visitors to count, carry and transact. However, all factors considered, it won’t change anything economically.
The fact that the Soberano will be backed by the Petro doesn’t do much to encourage stability. Despite this, President Maduro is confident that the new currency will “stabilize and change” Venezuela’s monetary system.
“The productive, diversified and sustainable economic model must definitely be born” in Venezuela, for which the re-conversion and anchoring to Petro are “a great hope”, President Maduro said in his Telesur interview.
The president also revealed that the Petro “will end up being consolidated technologically and financially” to “permeate all the national and international economic activity”, solidifying the coin’s role and function.
“I ask for your confidence, I ask for your support, beyond ideologies and political positions, because Venezuela needs this change, the mafias are over,” President Maduro said. “We have the correct vision of what the economic future in Venezuela should be, above all, we will achieve it.”
The Bolivarian government of Venezuela officially launched the pre-sale of its new Petro token in February.
Shortly after the launch, President Nicolás Maduro declared that his government would institute a second cryptocurrency, petro gold, backed by the South American nation’s mineral reserves, expected to arrive soon.
In a recent tweet, Maduro claimed that the pre-sale of the petro token raised US$735 million on its first day.
Pushing back against the government, the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) described the first ever state-issued cryptocurrency, the petro, as an unconstitutional violation of the Magna Carta and the laws of the nation. The AN also rejected the government’s claim to force workers to acquire the petro via savings banks.
That same month, United States president Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from buying, selling, trading and transacting in any way with Venezuela’s oil-backed digital currency.
United States senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez also rebuked the creation and disbursement of the new digital currency in an open letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in late January.
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