06 Oct 2018 Josphat Kariuki
Venezuelans to Pay Passport Fees Using the Controversial State-Backed Cryptocurrency, Petro
The announcement was issued by Delcy Rodriguez, the country’s vice president.
With Petro’s official launch scheduled for November, the country’s vice president has confirmed that all passport applications must be paid in the digital asset, starting from Monday 8th October. The country’s citizens will have to incur a cost of 1 Petro for a passport extension and 2 Petros for a new issue.
The cost of getting a new passport is reportedly four times less than the average minimum monthly wage of a Venezuelan citizen. According to Rodriguez, Venezuelans living abroad will incur a $200 cost for issuance, while extensions will cost $100 until November 1st.
Venezuela will try to fight the side-effects of increasing inflation and the dropping economy by embracing cryptocurrencies to avoid capital controls.
Allegedly, the Petro is backed by Venezuela’s mineral resources, such as oil. When the coin was first announced, each Petro was reportedly backed up by one barrel of crude oil from the country reserves. The country is said to have an estimated amount of five billion barrels of crude oil in their reserves.
President Nicholas Maduro’s solution to Venezuela’s economic crisis, the Petro, has been recently marred with a lot of controversy. Earlier last week, accusations claimed that the currency developers copied the whitepaper of Dash, a popular altcoin on the market.
Aside from the passport fee overhaul, the vice president has also announced the government’s plan to create a migration police squad. The force will be presumably designed to enhance the security of the citizens and preserve migratory control. According to the latest U.N statistics, about 5,000 people leave Venezuela every day.