Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro Tells Public to Invest in Gold and its Oil-Backed Petro

David Hundeyin
  • Embattled Venezuelan president called on workers to invest in a state-backed savings program that uses  Gold and the Petro.
  • The call is unlikely to be heeded by Venezuelans suffering unprecedented hyperinflation who have largely turned to bitcoin as a solution

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has recently advised workers to invest in gold and the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro. He made the call this week, during an announcement.

Stating that payments of calculated bonuses based on the cryptocurrency will start in the coming weeks, he urged citizens to invest a part of the payments in gold and the Petro.

“Fighting Economic Warfare”

Maduro said, during a broadcast on VTV, that the payment schedule of these bonuses will be fulfilled using the new salary scales set in petros, from the economic recovery program that commenced on August 20, about 58 days ago.

He said:

I call on workers to invest a part of their bonuses in the gold savings plan, come here, legally; you will have your legal certificate, invest it in Petro to strengthen the family economy. We are laying the foundations of a savings plan that guarantees the worker a future.

Maduro also instructed the Minister of Industries, Tarek El Aissami, the finance minister and the Central bank President to take the gold and petro savings plan and its benefits to workers in the country.

The President invited families and workers to invest in the new savings plans which he says is towards guaranteeing recovery, changing the capitalist model, and uninstalling the “criminal model of economic warfare” and replacing it with a model of socialist development.

Petro's Controversies

The petro has come under scrutiny from various sources in and outside of Venezuela. Some allege the state-owned oil company backing the petro has larger debts than the cryptocurrency’s entire market cap.

A Reuters report from September also alleges that the oil reserves the Petro is based on are either undeveloped and inaccessible, or entirely fictitious, effectively making the state-backed cryptocurrency worthless.

CryptoGlobe reported recently that Venezuelans have become some of the world’s most prolific peer-to-peer bitcoin traders, with a daily trading volume of $7.2 million as they look to stave off the worst effects of the country’s worst ever economic crisis.

President Maduro had in September alongside First Lady Cilia Flores invested part of their personal savings in a gold-backed certificate. With a projected 1,000,000% inflation rate, it remains uncertain how many Venezuelans will consider the offer.