The money was presented in December as a “bonus”. Days later, Venezuelans worked long lines to buy at the few institutions that accept cryptocurrency as payment.
The delivery of $30 worth of bitcoins that President Najib Bukele announced yesterday as part of his strategy for Salvadorans to use the cryptocurrency recalled the occasion when Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro offered $30 petros to health workers, military personnel and retirees.
With the economy wracked by inflation, Maduro decided in 2018 to introduce the petro as a legal currency backed by oil, gas and gold in Venezuela.
The currency will be used by a government app called Patria and the Venezuelan government has begun promoting its use among major companies.
But only a year after the cryptocurrency was implemented, only about 4,800 companies joined this payment method, and Maduro stepped up his efforts for Venezuelans to use it, claiming that it evaded US government sanctions.
In November 2019, the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, gave health workers half a petro the equivalent of $30 to cover their personal expenses, amid the deteriorating economy. Illustrative, non-commercial video https://www.youtube.com/watch? v = PTbQqrAlypc
In November 2019, during a conference for health personnel, Maduro announced that he would offer a reward of half a Petro, equivalent to $30, which would be collected as a Christmas reward in December. Sponsorship will also be given to the military and retirees.
But once the voucher was handed over, Venezuelans faced great difficulties in purchasing their staple food, as the media reported long queues of Venezuelans in the few shops that accepted petro as a form of payment. This difficulty has been added to the shortage of products as a result of the deteriorating economy.
“It’s a humiliation, a mockery of people, especially us, the elderly (…) we have no resistance to being in line for five, six or seven hours,” Leonor told AFP news agency. Diaz, a Venezuelan, waits to enter a supermarket in Caracas.
So far, there are few companies that accept this cryptocurrency because the value of the petro is lower than the official currency. Venezuelans continue to prefer dollars or bolivars as a form of payment.