Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, is feeling the Christmas spirit, and he wants to share his cheer with the country’s public servants with its state-backed cryptocurrency.
According to a recent report from el Universal, the Commander-in-Chief is planning to airdrop 0.5 Petro (which is worth a reported $30) to the country’s public sector workers, military personnel, and retirees this holiday season.
With the Petro 'airdrop' back in the news it's worth highlighting _again_ for people (esp who live in the US) that like many social programs in 'left' LATAM countries it is a Christmas bonus for people loyal to the party.
— James Downer (@realjdowner) December 16, 2019
To take part, users have to sign up and get a wallet on PetroApp, the official cryptocurrency wallet platform sponsored by the government.
Sign Up and Get Free Cash
PetroApp is rather innovative; the platform allows users to make purchases of goods and services through their mobile phones, and while it is focused Petro (of course), its application extends to transfers between users as well. PetroApp also allows inter-currency exchanges, so users could easily take the 0.5 Petro gotten from the president and exchange it for Bitcoin Litecoin, and DASH- the three other assets supported by the platform.
The president believes that this initiative will help bolster the adoption of the state-backed asset by Venezuelans, and given that the airdrop amount is at least three times the monthly minimum wage amount received by the group of people eligible for the promo, there’s a lot of incentive to take part in it.
Petro’s Big Year
The adoption of Petro in Venezuela has been nothing short of commendable this year. The asset, which launched in October 2018, is not revered in the crypto space, as insiders still see it as a failed attempt at a national cryptocurrency. However, Maduro has refused to give up on the asset, and through his sheer will, he’s made it relevant, albeit only in his country.
Fascinating how Venezuelan govt has created a stablecoin in the Petro but in reverse
They sell gold to get basic food items, then always sell those items for same Petro-denominated price
— George Donnelly (@georgedonnelly) November 28, 2019
Currently, Banco de Venezuela- the country’s apex banking institution- accepts deposits in Petro. Back in July, the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets, Venezuela’s authority as regards cryptocurrency regulations, announced in a tweet that the asset would now be accepted by Traki- one of the largest department stores in the country. Traki’s endorsement of the asset was one of the most significant turning points, as it essentially showed that Petro might have some application in the country’s retail space.
Nothing to Lose for Workers
However. it’s also highly expected that people will be more willing to exchange Petro for a more liquid crypto asset. While adoption has been rather laudable so far, there are a lot of places where petro still isn’t accepted, and Bitcoin is significantly more liquid. It just seems like a safer bet.
Despite the government’s best efforts to promote its cryptocurrency, it still hasn’t gotten much support outside the country. No major crypto exchange has listed the asset, and it has also been blacklisted by the United States government.
So, workers who feel uncomfortable with an asset that can’t be spent outside the country’s shores could easily have it converted and be safe.