Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has recently stated the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, has over 27,00 ‘affiliated businesses’ which could mean the government’s push for its adoption is working.

Speaking during a program led by local journalist José Vicente Rangel, Nicolás Maduro revealed the number is expected “to double in the coming months,” presumably as the Venezuelan government keeps pushing for Petro’s adoption.

Earlier this month, it made it legal to buy and sell cars and real estate using the oil-backed cryptocurrency. It’s worth noting, however, last month a Venezuelan official claimed the Petro was accepted as a payment method at 93 stores in the country thanks to a new payments gateway called PetroPago.

During the program he also said the country’s retirees and pensioners will be receiving their Christmas bonuses in Petros, and that the government will “active new protection mechanisms with the Petro.”

Nicolás Maduro further added the country is looking to “defend the bolivar” but will evaluate how “a dollarization process can be used to achieve economic recovery.” He clarified, however, Venezuela will “always have the bolivar as its currency.”

Maduro added the country’s cryptocurrency helped it against the “economic war” supposedly being fought against it, and seemingly mentioned he’s aware of the growing popularity other cryptocurrencies have in the country:

We have achieved the slowdown of the economic war through the self-regulation of the economy. With this self-regulation of the economy, other actors have begun to operate with their own currencies.

As CryptoGlobe reported, bitcoin cash (BCH) recently surpassed bitcoin (BTC) as one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in Venezuela, at a time in which Dash LatAm, an organization promoting Dash in the Latin America region, shut down due to a lack of funds.

The Petro itself was a cryptocurrency the Venezuelan government launched last year and sold to investors, accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method for the tokens. According to critics the Petro’s sale was used as a way for Venezuelan to bypass international sanctions and obtain foreign currency.

Featured image by pedrucho on Pixabay.