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News > Latin America

Venezuela: Petro Now Accepted as Payment for Airline Tickets, Fuel

  • A logo of Venezuela's new cryptocurrency, the Petro.

    A logo of Venezuela's new cryptocurrency, the Petro. | Photo: @SupCriptoVe

Published 2 March 2018

Filling stations located on the border between Venezuela and Colombia are also authorized to sell fuel in Petros.

Venezuela's Superintendent of Cryptocurrency and Related Activities, Carlos Vargas, announced on Thursday that the "Petro" can now be used to purchase airline tickets and fuel in some parts of the country. Vargas said in a tweet: "Following instructions from (Venezuelan) President Nicolas Maduro, the airlines have been authorized to sell national and international tickets in Petro and other cryptocurrencies," adding that fueling stations located on the border between Venezuela and Colombia are now authorized to sell fuel in Petros.

'Positive': Venezuela May Limit Number of Petros Traded by Exchanges

Vargas said the Petro would allow the Venezuelan people to enter the new financial world. “We are certain that this will be the start of greater economic strength for Venezuela. We continue moving forward!” Vargas wrote.

On Feb. 20, Venezuela officially launched the Petro, the first cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves. Maduro has said the goal of the digital coin is to combat sanctions and the "economic war" waged by the United States government and its junior partners against his country and advance "on issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and his Republican counterpart, Marco Rubio, have co-authored a letter denouncing the Petro, and requesting that the U.S. Treasury Department closely monitor its progress. The lawmakers also made suggestions on measures the agency can take to undermine the success of the digital currency.

For its part, the U.S. Treasury Department stated Petro in January. It read that “a currency with these characteristics would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government" – a measure forbidden by U.S. sanctions - and that "U.S. persons that deal in the prospective Venezuelan digital currency may be exposed to U.S. sanctions risk."

The Petro has attracted attention from investors in several countries, including Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, China, Palestine, Japan, Turkey, Qatar and even the United States.

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