The central bank of Venezuela is reportedly running test to find out whether it can add bitcoin and ether to its international reserves.
According to a report published by Bloomberg, the country’s state-owned oil and natural gas company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has asked the central bank to pay some of its supplier on its behalf using the cryptocurrencies. The report cites people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.
How the PDVSA has obtained bitcoin and ether, the report reads, is unclear. As the country has been under U.S. sanctions it has been struggling to do business with various clients and is somewhat cut off from the global financial system. Venezuela has been digging into its reserves while dealing with hyperinflation, but they’re coming to a three-decade low at $7.9 billion.
PDVSA may not be looking to sell its cryptocurrencies on exchanges as it would have to go through due diligence, and would likely be turned down by most platforms over the sanctions.
Last year Venezuela launched an oil-backed cryptocurrency called Petro, which it says was distributed through an initial coin offering (ICO). To incentivize its adoption, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has ordered the country’s largest bank to accept it, among other measures.
Featured image via Pxhere.