On November 2, the Supreme Court of Venezuela recognized Petro cryptocurrency (PTR) as legal tender — the court’s ruling states that the government “must promote the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment and act as guarantor of such use.” The news is reported by Ethereum World News.
Venezuela intends to become the first crypto state in Latin America. After several delays, the authorities announced the launch of Petro, a state-run cryptocurrency designed to help solve economic problems caused by rising inflation. The government planned to launch Petro in March 2018, however, despite the official announcement made by President Maduro, the launch did not take place. In March, US President Donald Trump signed a decree prohibiting individuals and legal entities from conducting operations with cryptocurrencies issued by the Venezuelan government.
Then, after several unsuccessful attempts and changes in the blockchain’s architecture, on October 1, the government announced that Petro “would become a convertible state cryptocurrency.” However, by that time, many began to have doubts: Petro not only remained inaccessible but on the very day of the planned launch, significant changes were made in the whitepaper.
Finally, at the end of October, the authorities announced that from November 5, PTR tokens could be bought for cryptocurrencies (at the first stage, through official exchanges) and cash (directly from the national treasury).
It is important to note that in late October, the country’s Supreme Court decided on monetary compensation for the Venezuelan worker in the amount of 266 PTR. The decision aroused the heightened interest of the Venezuelan lawyers since it implied the recognition of Petro as a legal means of payment. It also attracted criticism from those who believe that the only legal currency in Venezuela should be a Bolivar.
However, a few days later, on November 2, the Supreme Court approved the “Decree on crypto assets and the sovereign cryptocurrency Petro”, issued by the country’s highest legislative body, the National Constitutional Assembly. Thus, all branches of the Venezuelan government – executive, legislative, and judicial – officially recognized Petro as a means of monetary settlement. The decree is important because, along with Petro, other cryptocurrencies are recognized as legal means of payment.