Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is pushing for Petro adoption, but locals are buying bitcoin in record amounts. | Image: Shutterstock
The largest bank in Venezuela, the state-owned Bank of Venezuela, appears to have launched services to facilitate transactions in the country’s state-issued oil-backed virtual currency, the Petro.
According to Decrypt, Bank of Venezuela customers have reported a new module integrated into the management interface of their accounts to facilitate registration for a digital wallet that supports the Petro.
Anecdotal reports cited by the publication describe the wallet as having limited functionality, with users only able to transfer the virtual currency via the Petro’s official wallet, and trade the tokens on authorized local exchanges such s Criptolago and Amberes.
The wallet purportedly features a drop-down menu allowing users to choose what type of cryptocurrency they wish to use, indicating that Bank of Venezuela is seeking to support other virtual currencies in the future.
At the start of July, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered Bank of Venezuela to support the Petro. In a tweet published the following day by the Venezuelan finance minister, Ramón Lobo, it was specified that the bank must open desks to process Petro transactions throughout the country.
Venezuela Struggles to Drive Petro Adoption
Bank of Venezuela’s introduction of services supporting the Petro notably comprises a rare instance in which Maduro’s plans for the Petro appear to be coming to fruition.
During June, Maduro announced that a $924 million bolivar ($150,000) budget had been approved to finance the distribution of one million digital wallets loaded with Petro tokens to Venezuelan students and youth.
Despite the pledged budget,