Ildemaro Villarroel, Venezuela's Minister of Habitat and Housing, has announced that the government has plans to use funds acquired from the country's cryptocurrency, known as the Petro, to pay for the construction of houses for the homeless.
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“The Great Mission for Venezuela Housing,” or GMW, website informs that the Venezuelan government, which intends make more accessible housing available to those who can't afford it, has already built 2 million homes to date.
Villaroeal said that 33 companies so far have begun technical, financial, and logistics tests to start the construction process, according to the CoinTelegraph.
“Together with the governors, we are reviewing the plans that we will start in the second quarter. In this second quarter GMVV will have an injection of financial resources, which this year will be protected and established with the Petro,” he said.
Another authority noted that the Petro creates a “protective shield” for the construction of new homes, according to Criptotendencia.
A budget of 75 billion bolivares (approximately US$750,000) and 909,000 Petros have been allocated for the new homes by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. In May he announced that a series of youth and student initiatives will be financed through a Petro-funded crypto bank.
Faced with European Union and U.S.-imposed sanctions, Venezuela has seen an increase in the use cryptocurrencies. Last month, CointelTelegraph reported that trading between the Venezuelan bolivar and Bitcoin had increased by 138 per cent from March to April.
The Petro, which is the first cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves, started its sale period on March 22 and all state-owned companies are required to accept it in their transactions.
Maduro said the new digital coin aims to strengthen the country's "monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."