Venezuela Pegs Minimum Wages to National Cryptocurrency: Report

The Venezuelan national cryptocurrency is based on the DASH blockchain, and has many characteristics of a CBDC.

AccessTimeIconMar 4, 2022 at 6:54 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 4, 2022 at 8:37 p.m. UTC

Venezuela said its minimum wage would now be 50% pegged to the national petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, according to a report from Bloomberg on Friday.

  • The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced the new monthly minimum wage of 126 Venezuelan bolivars ($28). This represents a 18-fold increase to the national minimum wage, which would be 50% pegged to petro, the government cryptocurrency.
  • At the time of writing, the Venezuelan government did not immediately respond to request for further details.
  • Petro is built on top of the DASH blockchain and is centralized around government issuance, making it more like a central bank digital currency (CBDC) than a cryptocurrency.
  • Not much is known about the petro because its advertised block explorer is inaccessible. While the WayBack internet archive shows something that looked like a block explorer available in April 2020, the page has been blank ever since.
  • In theory, it is possible to purchase PTR with bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC) from either the Venezuelan central bank or local exchanges, however the prices vary wildly between the central bank rate and private exchange rate.
  • According to reports, most Venezuelans do not use PTR by choice rather out of necessity. For instance, pension payments are made in PTR.
  • It is also illegal for U.S. residents to hold or trade PTR due to sanctions imposed by the previous U.S. administration under Donald Trump.

UPDATE (March 4, 07:00 UTC): Adds 50% detail in the lead.

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