Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the Banco de Venezuela (BoV), one of the nation’s largest banks to allow citizens to buy and trade El Petro, the state-issued cryptocurrency.
“I give the express order for transaction counters for The Petro to be opened in all Bank of Venezuela agencies,” the President said on Wednesday.
This move is reportedly aimed to allow BoV customers to buy, sell, and deposit petros.
Maduro highlighted that the crypto must be integrated into the country’s public banking system and the national private banking sector.
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.