Venezuela Mandates Banks to Display Account Balances in Petro
In February, Venezuela became the first country in the world to issue a digital fiat currency. In his latest move, President Nicolas Maduro has once again doubled down on his support for the Petro.
A netizen made a post on social media site Reddit on November 5, claiming “In Venezuela all banks are ordered to show your account balance in Petro v2 (Government crypto), even Citi and BBVA had to do it.”
Cryptonews Hub looked into the matter and found that the netizen had posted a screenshot of bank account information, in which the balance was shown in Petro.
This ignited discussions on the Internet. Some netizens commented on Reddit, “Sounds to me like they’re taking away your perfectly good cryptos for themselves and handing you back a scam.” “I’d be interested to see screenshots of the Citi and BBVA petro denominated accounts if you can get any!”
Cryptonews Hub looked through the official websites of the Venezuela branch of Citibank and BBVA, finding there were no announcements about banks being forced to use the Petro. Both of these two banks, however, have shown the exchange rate for the Petro on their websites—each Petro has a value of 3,600.00 Bs.S.
Citibank is backed by U.S. banking giant Citigroup, one of the largest banks in America. BBVA is the second largest bank in Spain. Even though major foreign banks in Venezuela have had to compromise to some degree, it’s conceivable that local banks have endured more pressure.
The Petro was initially issued by Maduro to stabilize Venezuela’s embattled financial market and curb runaway inflation—which could soar to 1,370,000% by the end of this year according to the IMF.
Maduro’s move, however, has sparked controversy. Venezuela’s National Assembly deemed the country’s oil-backed Petro to be unconstitutional as early as this March. It also labeled it as a “scam” that could pose a threat to potential investors.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order on March 20 to ban the Venezuelan government-backed Petro.
As Cryptonews Hub previously reported, “The Petro, issued by Venezuela in a bid to save itself from its economic predicament, is now listed on six different exchanges. The six exchanges, however, were not well known and had overly simple websites. Information on the websites was scarce—there were no introduction pages, almost no prices listed and no exchange platform for trading.”