For the second time in a little over a month, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has hiked up the value of the national cryptocurrency, the petro, this time to 36,000 sovereign bolivars. The move has again been met with criticism.
Also read: Russia Not Ready for the Petro, Proposes Plan to Aid Venezuela Without It
‘A New Monetary System’
President Nicolas Maduro introduced a “new monetary system” on Jan. 14 which included another increase in the country’s cryptocurrency and a higher minimum wage in a bid to combat the “criminal dollar.” As the country continues to struggle with the world’s highest inflation – around 2 million percent – the leader of the South American nation said the move would protect the national bolivar.
“I want us to create a great alliance to produce and create new formulas of investment and financing,” Maduro told the Constituent Assembly in a video broadcast by local media. President Maduro said he would up the the minimum wage by 300 percent to 18,000 bolivars per month, around $6.70, and increase the value of the petro fourfold. His new monetary system will be based on the petro and he said he would stabilize the economy with his new measures.
But this isn’t the first time President Maduro has made such pledges. In December he hiked up the price of the petro, with experts and civilians alike expressing their skepticism, while the minimum wage was raised a total of five times last year. There is still no sign of a crypto wallet for the petro, the links to download it don’t work, and the Venezuelan government still strives to sell the digital currency and issue certificates of purchase to buyers. Venezuelans, meanwhile, are still fleeing the country’s dire economic situation in the hundreds of thousands.
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