Petroleos de Venezuela has an unspecified “stash” of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and the central bank of Venezuela is looking for ways it can store cryptos in its coffers.
As per a report on Bloomberg, it is claimed that the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, right now has a “Bitcoin stash he doesn’t know what to do with”. The report says that some unknown sources have told the agency that Petroleos de Venezuela, the state run oil and gas producer has been “struggling” to get payments in conventional fiat currency.
However, it is speculated by the agency that the Venezielan companies may be hesitant to sell cryptocurrencies on the open market, as they are reluctant to go through the process of Know-Your Customer and other protocols required at major exchanges of Cryptos. If this is indeed the case, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) might be sold using Over The Counter services and in smaller batches. The prices of both the cryptos will not be affected on crypto exchanges this way.
In fact, in June, DeversiFi (previously Ethfinex) had introduced a decentralized OTC service named “Ethfinex Trustless OTC”. Its users can trade ETH in large quantity directly to the buyer without any third party involvement.
In a statement, the news agency said, “It isn’t clear how Petroleos de Venezuela came to own bitcoin and ethereum, or the value of its holdings”. But the implications seem to be that the international buyers have been using Bitcoin and Ether to pay Petroleos de Venezuela in exchange for oil. This is an attempt to circumvent the United States sanctions on the trading companies and countries of Venezuela.
Bloomberg also said that its sources have confirmed that the oil producer is looking to pay its suppliers in the tokens and that the “(central bank) staffers are studying proposals that would allow cryptocurrencies to be counted towards international reserves.”
The Maduro run government reserves are approaching a “three decade low” and just stand at USD 7.9 billion.
Cryptocurrencies have become a central part of the Economic Policy of Maduro Government. Apart from its own state run Petro token, the government has been open in its acceptance of bitcoin and other tokens. In a recent initiative, the country’s top university is working on development of an RFID powered solution that will enable payments in crypto via smart cards.
Banco de Venezuela, the state owned bank started offering its customers the option to bank in both fiat and cryptocurrencies from earlier this month. This is an indication that the banks of the nation are already looking forward to a wide range of options when it comes to crypto related matters.