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Venezuela Considers Moving its Bitcoin and Ethereum Stash

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro says his country is working on an international and domestic payments system that will make use of cryptocurrencies.

Source: iStock/imageoptim

The troubled Latin American state has seen trade screech to a halt as United States sanctions continue to bite. International borrowing is up, and the country is having trouble paying back its loans. But Maduro and his government remain confident that cryptocurrencies will help the country find a way out of its financial quagmire.

Per a report from Ultimas Noticias and an article published by NTN24, Maduro is planning to use cryptocurrencies to pay off debts to the country’s two biggest creditors, China and Russia.

Speaking in a live TV address, Maduro stated,

“We will negotiate [with our creditors] using cryptocurrencies.”

The president added that he would reveal further details of his crypto payment plans “in the next few days.”

Although the government has developed its own oil-backed cryptocurrency named the Petro, Moscow earlier this year rejected the notion of dealing in Maduro’s token. Beijing is also believed to be lukewarm about the Petro – mainly because of the severity of the United States sanctions that have been placed on states and companies dealing with the token.

However, as previously reported, the Venezuelan state is believed to be “sitting on a stash” of Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens accrued by one of its oil producers – and could feasibly look to use these and other cryptocurrency holdings should Russia and China show willingness.

Maduro stated that the American sanctions have left Venezuela with no choice other than to “renegotiate” with its creditors. The president said that “financial transactions have been complicated with the rest of the world,” but added that his cryptocurrency-powered plan will help the country “maintain [the flow of] imports and exports.”

Meanwhile, Joselit Ramírez, the head of Sunacrip, the Venezuelan government’s cryptocurrency agency, has stated that the Petro can now be used in domestic real estate contracts. Per Noticas24, Ramírez stated that Petro housing deals are now incentivized, and claimed that a landowner had already paid for a contractor to build a house in the oil-backed token.

Ramírez said,

“This is the first time in the world that a citizen has used a cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism for a house.”