Starting this week, Venezuelan authorities will charge for passport application fees in the state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro.
In addition, fees for all passport applications will be charged in Petro, they will cost an increased amount — 1 petro for the renewal and 2 petros for a new passport. This was despite the fact that the average monthly minimum wage in Venezuela is four times less than the passport fee.
“In the case of Venezuelans who are abroad, until the first day of November the cost will be $200 for issuance and $100 for extensions,” vice president Delcy Rodriguez stated.
Launched in February 2018, the petro, or petromoneda, is a cryptocurrency developed by the government of Venezuela. Announced in December 2017, it is claimed to be backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves, and it is intended to supplement Venezuela’s plummeting bolívar fuerte currency, purportedly as a means of circumventing U.S. sanctions and accessing international financing. As Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, the petro is backed by a barrel each — as of January 2014, the country has a total of 297 billion barrels.