The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is taking steps to advance his state-backed, oil-pegged Petro digital currency by registering 16 cryptocurrency exchanges in the South American country. The hope is that these government-backed exchanges will be friendly to the Petro and soon list it.
Maduro’s Petro has divided opinions with many not sure about its potential or the reasoning behind its creation, from a leader who has equally divided opinion in the country which currently is suffering hyperinflation on its local currency.
Certification for 16
Correo del Orinoco, a newspaper which is backed by the socialist government, reports that Maduro has “authorized the certification of 16 exchange houses for cryptocurrencies,” which will facilitate Petro transactions in the international market.
Maduro was quoted saying during the inauguration of Venezuela Power Expo 2018 in Caracas:
“The certification of these 16 exchanges is a demonstration of confidence in the system of the Petro, as a cryptocurrency, and will allow liquidity and solid transactional volume.”
Operation paper hands
This certification seems at odds with another tactic that the government in the South American country is employing. An operation, dubbed, Operation Paper Hands, has seen a crackdown on crypto exchanges and remittance businesses in Venezuela in the past few days.
This, however, looks to be the government picking a choosing those which are likely to be friendly to the cryptocurrency needs. The country is clearly not against digital currencies in the same way someone like China would be, but they seem to be building a bit of a monopoly over cryptocurrency with the Petro being the flagship.
The certified 16 exchanges are “Criptoexchainge, Criptocapital, Asesoría Financiaera CA, Italcambio, Amberes Coin, Cave Blockchainge, Valoratta Casa de Bolsa, Coinsecure.ve, Critiaechainge, Criptolago, Criptoventraige CA, Criptoactivo Menets CA, Criptoactivo Bancar CA, Criptomundo Casa de Intercambio CA, Inversiones Financieras 1444 CA, [and] Criptoactivo Criptoes,” the publication detailed. However, there is no confirmation that any of them have agreed to list the Petro at the time of this writing.