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Venezuelan Banks Must Accept Petro

Two days ago, Venezuela’s President — Nicolás Maduro, ordered the nations banks to adopt the Petro digital currency, so now Venezuelan banks must accept Petro.

In a bid to reform the nation and alleviate the current Venezuelan economic crisis, Maduro is trying to get the Petro coin recognized as Venezuela’s second currency and now banks within the nation must accept the coin.

The hope is that by fixing the nation’s fiat currency to the newly created Petro, financial stability will be possible.

Venezuelan Banks Must Accept Petro

Venezuela’s economic situation is dire. By the end of this year, the IMF estimates that the country is going to reach inflation levels of 1 million percent. Poverty is obviously rampant and many people have fled to try and escape the crisis.

But others are putting their cash into digital currencies as a form of protection for their wealth. Currencies such as Bitcoin and Dash are popular among the masses, with Dash, in particular, becoming more widely accepted by merchants — Subway and Calvin Klein both allow people to pay with the digital currency.

Earlier this year, The Dash Foundation invested $1 million into educating Venezuelan’s about using digital currencies securely.

Economic Reforms

In the latest round of economic reforms, The Venezuelan President increased the minimum wage, the price of petrol, and VAT.

This includes a 3,400% increase in minimum wage and a VAT increase of 4%.

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Petro Coin

Petro was launched in February of this year. Maduro has faith in the coin to bring stability to his nation as he claims it is backed by Venezuela’s oil reserves. However, actual proof of this remains to be seen and the nation has remained divided on the subject since its inception. Even the US went as far as implementing sanctions against the coin. 

According to Russ Dallen, a managing partner of Caracas Capital Market, the Petro coin isn’t backed at all saying:

“They’re setting up a stand on the front porch of Venezuela to sell snake oil that’s essentially backed by nothing. People believe its backed by oil, but if you read the contract, it’s really not.”

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Featured Image: Deposit Photos/jkraft5

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DASH News | DASH Targets Venezuelan Inflation Issue

DASH, the 14th largest cryptocurrency by its total market cap, has just announced that it is focusing a lot of its efforts on one country currently.

DASH in Venezuela

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, told Business Insider that his team has seen a rise in Dash Wallet downloads in Venezuela within the last couple of months due to rising inflation.

“We are seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month,” Ryan Taylor, the CEO of the Dash Core Group, told Business Insider. “Earlier this year, Venezuela became our number two market even ahead of China and Russia, which are of course huge into cryptocurrency right now.”

Venezuela is supposed to see a 1,000,000% rise in inflation this year, with locals needing stacks of cash just to buy groceries. Venezuela’s government led by their president, Nicolas Maduro, introduced an oil-backed cryptocurrency named the Petro. It has been highly criticized by many global leaders and even those within the country itself.

Many believe the President wants to use the cryptocurrency as a way for countries to save Venezuela from its own demise.

Venezuelans Desperate

With rising prices of just about everything in the country, residents are beginning to become desperate. Cash withdrawals are being restricted at banks and there are no clear rules when it comes to the new system that is in place.

Venezuelans are now turning to cryptocurrencies as a way to store value, as the Venezuelan bolivar’s exchange rate continues to spiral. Based out of Arizona, Taylor states that DASH is currently rising with merchant adoption too.

Currently, DASH is working with over 800 retailers and Taylor told Business Insider that they are signing up over 200 retailers a month and Subway and Calvin Klein have all signed up to accept Dash in Venezuela recently.

“Effectively, even if I accept a credit card, three days later when the funds hit my account, it’s worth significantly less in Venezuela than when the authorization went through,” Taylor told the publication. “This is a problem that cryptocurrency can solve. Our instant transactions can solve it and the relative stability of our cryptocurrency is better than their fiat currency.”

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© ivosar

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Bitcoin Airdrop and Azul App

Can a Bitcoin Airdrop help the people of Venezuela? The country is considered one of the world’s most oppressive monetary states. Unfair practices implemented by its government to maintain control of its people has resulted in the following;

“severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food have intensified since 2014, and weak government responses have undermined Venezuelans’ rights to health and food. Protesters have been arbitrarily detained and subject to abuse by security forces.” — as reported by The Human Rights Watch World Report in 2017.

But can cryptocurrency change all this? Developer John Wheeler is trying to make that the case.

The former bank employee turned developer is working on a new project — getting Bitcoin into the hands of Venezuelan citizens. Teaming with Morgan Crena, the pair have formed a non-profit organization called the Pale Blue Foundation which is currently working to create a Bitcoin Airdrop.

The Pale Blue Foundation, a Bitcoin Airdrop, and Azul

Through his foundation, Wheeler wants to use Bitcoin to change an economic and political crisis so severe that people can’t pay for necessities — food is in such short supply that joining lengthy food lines have become regular practice for citizens just trying to obtain the necessities. Prices for such necessities can also be exorbitant and routinely changed by the seller. There is no regulation.

Wheeler and Crena’s mission involves a supporting team who are developing a mobile app called Azul. This app will hopefully draw millions of donations which will be transferred via a Bitcoin Airdrop to citizens of Venezuela. The project began as an idea batted around on Medium, but it is starting to take real shape; now, it is drawing help from Bitcoin companies including OpenBazaar and LocalBitcoins.

But why Bitcoin? Crypto communities Zcash and Dash have also been long trying to help Venezuela in some way, but the team has focused on Bitcoin because they believe it to be the most widely available and resilient network with the ability to handle vast transactions.

“We’re focused on bitcoin because we think it’s the most viable solution with the most worldwide potential,” Wheeler said.

Lightning and Azul

Bitcoin’s upcoming lightning network is also a key consideration for the technical design of the Azul App. Lightning is a layer-two technology which will solve scaling issues within the Bitcoin network, increasing transaction limits exponentially. The Pale Blue Foundation is currently in discussions with relative developers — lightning wallet developers CoinClip and the lightning startup ACINQ.

With all the technicalities behind the mission on a roll and with the necessary bodies joining the fight, the team still needs to secure the funding that’ll buy the Bitcoin to be airdropped to Venezuelans. The initial hope is to secure millions of dollars from venture capitalists and donors; believers of the cause who want to join a “large-scale collaborative mission to help people suffering from financial tyranny.”

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If the Azul App and Airdrop are successful, this may be the beginning of a global effort to rescue countries facing humanitarian crises. The project is gaining momentum, but will Bitcoin be a solution for the Venezuelan people? What are your thoughts? Tell us below!

Feature Image: Google/Foreign Policy

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