Venezuela’s government-backed cryptocurrency is not having the acceptance its cabinet expected, as the latest reports suggest. The petro’s creator, who now lives in exile, wants to build another crypto that gets the adoption its original creation did not in the nation.
Jiménez Believed the Petro Could Have Given Venezuelans a ‘Measure of Freedom’
Per a report published by Deutsche Welle, Gabriel Jimenez, a 31-year-old-programmer, is looking to pursue a “cryptocurrency revolution” in Venezuela with Reserve, a brand-new token he created.
Jimenez – now residing in the United States – is not a stranger to the crypto community, nor Nicolás Maduro’s government, as he was once commissioned to create the state-backed petro (PTR).
Interestingly, he wasn’t a fan of the government, as he actively participated in the street protests against Maduro. However, Jiménez thought that creating the petro token was an excellent idea to give Venezuelans “a measure of freedom” by bypassing U.S. financial sanctions.
But Jiménez’s expectations on oil-backed petro turned out to be wrong. He commented:
I was naive at the time, and it’s still hurting me to see how the petro is being misused as a political weapon by the government.
Moreover, Deutsche Welle quoted reports that state officials are even using petro for money laundering purposes. That said, the 31-year-old-programmer firmly believes creating the digital asset was a mistake.
Maduro Keeps Promising to Make Petro a Widely Accepted Token
Venezuelan government’s efforts in making its crypto accessible and widely accepted by the people have been making the headlines since last year. In fact, despite the controversy, Venezuela was the first nation-state to deploy a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the wild.
In August 2020, Bitcoin.com News reported that the Bolivarian Council of Mayors signed Venezuela’s National Tax Harmonization Agreement on Sunday, placing the cryptocurrency petro as the unit of account for the payment of taxes and fines in 305 municipalities.
Still, the government doesn’t give up on the petro project. In fact, during an annual speech at the National Assembly in January 2021, Maduro talked about a “revival” for the PTR, promising to boost a “100% national digital economy” agenda through a “complete digitalization process.”