Venezuela has decided to terminate the use of its own cryptocurrency, the Petro, more than five years after its inception.
Venezuela Ends Controversial Cryptocurrency Petro
President Nicolas Maduro launched the Petro (PTR) in February 2018 as a measure to support the country's currency, the Bolivar, amid an economic crisis intensified by US sanctions.
Backed by the country's abundant oil reserves, the token sparked controversy even before its launch.
The country's opposition-controlled congress declared borrowing against oil reserves illegal. In 2019, US authorities imposed sanctions on a Russian bank for financing the Petro.
The Venezuelan government has made numerous attempts to integrate Petro with various services. For example, it was mandatory to use Petro to obtain a passport, finance a social housing initiative, and peg 50% of the minimum wage.
According to a report, the remaining Petros are being converted into the struggling local currency, the Bolivar. The latest blow to the Petro was a corruption scandal involving financial irregularities related to the use of crypto assets for oil operations.
This led to the resignation of oil minister Tareck El Aissami and a crackdown on Bitcoin mining activities, AFP reported.
This marks the end of a controversial period in Venezuela's attempt to leverage cryptocurrency to overcome economic difficulties.
*This is not investment advice.