The Petro becomes official Venezuelan currency – Iran & Russia also turn to Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency situation in Venezuela received a push on Tuesday, Aug. 14, after President Nicolás Maduro announced that the state-issued Petro token is legally a unit-of-account in the crisis-stricken country, ABC International reports.

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Maduro’s Giant Cryptocurrency Experiment

Launched in February 2018, the oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro was developed by the Venezuelan government to evade U.S. and European economic sanctions amid the deepening political crisis.

After launch, the controversial token was offered to several countries as an option for purchasing Venezuela oil at a discount, a move which all parties understandably denied.

Now, the country is pegging the Petro as a monetary unit and even aims to pay salaries and provide pensions with the cryptocurrency.

First announced on a televised interview with a state-run news channel, Maduro stated national oil company PDVSA will begin to use Petro as an “official” unit-of-account. In addition, Venezuelans will be introduced to a new salary system that partly incentivizes talent with cryptocurrencies, alongside changing the tariffs for several products linked to the Petro.

Maduro told viewers:

“As of next Monday, Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the Petro. It will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA oil industry.”

IRAN TURNS TO BITCOIN & OWN CRYPTOCURRENCY 

The unjust (Israel-led) US sanctions on Iran are forcing Iran to it’s knees. Therefore the technology- & science driven open-minded country has decided to turn to Bitcoin to escape US-Dollar terrorism. Just like North Korea did (and still does). As bitcoin outpaces the Rial (Iran’s currency), the next wave of ransomware attacks will be coming soon, courtesy of Iranian hackers. And the payment will, of course, be in bitcoin.

The irony of the Iranian government turning to ransomware attacks to obtain bitcoin isn’t lost on their citizens. Cryptocurrencies are bannedfrom use by lenders. This after over 2.5 billion Rials fled the country, according to Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, chairman of Iran’s economic commission. The government, however, isn’t above accepting bitcoin payments when they’re obtained through a criminal enterprise like ransomware attacks.

The US government isn’t making it easy. Over 500 bitcoins, valued at just over $5.7 million at the time, were seized by federal officials according to Iran. And since cryptocurrencies are banned in Iran, the owners of the bitcoin don’t seem to have any legal recourse in Iran or the United States.

Just to be safe, Iran is also stealing the processing power of computers so they can mine even more cryptocurrencies. It’s called cryptojacking, and the primary targets of these digital thefts have been in the Middle East. Iran’s main nemesis, Saudi Arabia, has been targeted and the loss of computing cycles has cost them millions of dollars.

Another tactic Iran is developing to avoid the crippling sanctions is the creation of their own digital currency. Since these digital currencies are not under the control of US regulators, Iran would conceivably be able to send and receive money and avoid the restrictions that apply to traditional banks.

   
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