Venezuela has developed further backing for its oil-backed cryptocurrency by releasing a debit card and point-of-sale system that will accept the petro in card transactions.

State-sanctioned crypto exchange CriptoLAGO in partnership with investment cryptobank Glufco said on an Instagram press release that the system would provide support not only for the petro cryptocurrency, but also for bitcoin, ether and dash.

Glufco is to provide the point-of-sale technology, which it calls a “cryptocurrency transfer device”, while CriptoLAGO is to issue the encrypted cards, according to the social media post.

Venezuela Sanctions

Venezuela developed the petro cryptocurrency, backed by the country’s wealth of mineral and petroleum deposits, to help the country sidestep the economic effects of sanctions imposed by the US, EU and other countries.

President Nicolas Maduro announced the petro’s launch in December 2017 to help the country “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty” as the domestic fiat currency – the bolivar – hyperinflated, impoverishing millions of Venezuelans.

Yet reports suggest the petro has failed to gain traction as citizens turn to either the dollar or more liquid cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The government has reacted by trying to smooth transition towards the petro and last month instructed state-owned Bank of Venezuela to launch the registration process for the wallet that will allow citizens to exchange, deposit, spend and withdraw the petro.


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