Venezuela’s central bank is allegedly running tests to determine whether it can add bitcoin and ether to its international reserves at the request of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).
According to a recent report in Bloomberg, the PDVSA is seeking to send Bitcoin and Ethereum to the central bank and have the monetary authority pay the oil company’s bills with cryptocurrency rather than continue to drain the countries fiat holdings which is coming to a three-decade low at $7.9 billion.
In 2018 Venezuela launched its own cryptocurrency, the Petro backed by the country’s oil (the Orinoco in Venezuela contains the world’s largest – an estimated 1.2 trillion barrels of oil resources) and gold reserves (Venezuela has the world’s second-largest exploitable gold reserves total an estimated 10,000 tons).
The Petro’s pre-sale started on 20 February 2018 and ended on 19 March 2018 and the Venezuelan government claimed the pre-sale raised US$3.3 billion. Reuters investigated the Petro six months after its ICO and reported it was an utter failure and there was no indication that the Petro raised the funds claimed nor were Petros being used in any way.
“However, there are still many uncertainties about what the Petro is actually worth. The Venezuelan government has supposedly pegged their sovereign bolivar so that “as a ‘unit of account’ the Petro’s value is to be of 9,000 sovereign bolivars”, according to their central bank’s announcement.”