According to reports, Venezuela’s central bank is looking into the possibility of including Bitcoin and Ether tokens (BTC) currently held by Petroleos de Venezuela SA(PDVSA), the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
This was reported by a Bloombergarticle published Sept. 26, which cited four anonymous sources that provided direct insight into the matter.
Venezuela could use Bitcoin, ether for international payment
According to the article, PDVSA requested that the cryptocurrency be transferred to the central banking who can then use the tokens for payment to its suppliers. Officials at the central bank are also testing whether crypto tokens can be used to replenish its $7.9 billion international reserves, which is a 30-year low.
Venezuelan companies such as PDVSA have had difficulty accessing international payment systems due to US sanctions against Nicolas Maduro’s government. PDVSA may have chosen to receive payments in cryptocurrencies over conventional channels due to the restrictions on receiving payments.
Due to the KYC requirements and due diligence at global exchanges, it could prove difficult for the company to convert the crypto into fiat. The central bank should find it easier to dispose off the crypto, hence the request by PDVSA.
Venezuela is proactive in using cryptocurrencies
Venezuela is one of few countries that has proactively adopted crypto because it felt the US sanctions should be lifted. It announced last year the launch of the Petro crypto currency, which was apparently backed up by its oil and mineral resources. Although Maduro’s best efforts have not made the project a success, this latest incident shows that Venezuela is still using cryptocurrency to circumvent the sanctions.