Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has announced of 0.5 petros for every Venezuelan citizen who registers for the government’s PetroApp, according to local sources.
Mexican newspaper El Universal reports that to be eligible to receive the oil-backed cryptocurrency airdrop, citizens have to register for the government’s official cryptocurrency wallet, PetroApp.
The PetroApp was created to let Venezuelans pay for goods and services using the oil-backed cryptocurrency with their phones. It also allows them to transact crypto. It does more than a regular wallet, however, as it reportedly lets users swap their tokens for other cryptocurrencies – it currently supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dash.
Maduro reportedly claimed the airdrop will encourage Venezuelans to adopt the petro over the country’s fiat currency, the sovereign bolivar. The oil-backed cryptocurrency has been available to the public since October 2018, but hasn’t gained a lot of support so far.
CoinDesk reports, however, that since the minimum wage is worth less than $10 in the country, the 0.5 Petro airdrop, worth around $30 according to sources, may be a significant incentive.
Along with the airdrop, Maduro said over 500,000 petros would be paid out from the state’s supply to support local governments across the country. As CryptoGlobe reported, over the summer Maduro ordered the country’s largest bank, Banco de Venezuela to start accepting deposits in the oil-backed cryptocurrency to bolster its use.
Despite the government’s efforts to grow the petro’s adoption, the cryptocurrency was only accepted as a payment method at 93 stores as of October 2019, according to officials. Last month, however, he claimed the petro had over 27,000 “affiliated businesses.”