Venezuela’s dreams of becoming a crypto nation evidently extend beyond just the state-backed petro. Earlier today, Bloomberg that Venezuela’s central bank could soon be holding an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of its international reserves. According to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources, the country’s national oil company (and primary source of revenue), Petroleos de Venezuela, is exploring ways to send BTC and ETH to the central bank so that the state-owned firm can pay its monetary obligations to international suppliers.It’s an idea that’s just crazy enough to work.
Image Source: nulltx.com
As a practical matter, unlike President Nicolas Maduro’s prize Cryptocurrency, the petro, Bitcoin has global acceptance—and Ethereum is the most important altcoin in the global market. It would be relatively easy for anyone to take a payment made in either crypto and immediately convert it to a fiat currency. Venezuela has some of the cheapest electricity in the world, as well as one of Latin America’s most powerful hydroelectric generators. It is reasonable, then, to think that Maduro’s government could have undisclosed Bitcoin and Ethereum mining farms in the country, despite the deficiencies in the country’s energy grid.
Image Source: incrypts.com
On the other hand, using Bitcoin and Ethereum to facilitate international trades would not be so easy. In order to convert those tokens to fiat, anyone willing to trade with Venezuela would have to comply with the KYC policies set by any exchange or OTC desk, which—in many cases—are subject to the laws of the United States or other countries influenced by U.S. policies. If Venezuela has Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other Cryptocurrency, the government is obligated to disclose that information to the National Assembly (or the National Constituent Assembly), so the public won’t get an official answer to this until January 2020 at the earliest. Until then, we should expect Maduro’s government to keep it as confidential as possible, in order to avoid any potential countermeasures from his opposition.
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