Use of Petro continues to be encouraged by the Venezuelan government
The Venezuelan government has started demanding that all gas stations in the country sell gasoline at a discount in exchange for its controversial state-issued digital currency, Petro.
The announcement comes amid a general increase in gasoline prices in the country, after the government’s decision to remove subsidies that reduced the price per liter to essentially zero.
The price increase will cause gasoline per liter to rise to $ 0.50 for unqualified purchases, although significant discounts are available for those who choose to conduct transactions at Petro.
Supported by the country’s oil reserves, Petro has been widely condemned worldwide as an attempt to avoid international sanctions against the government. The digital currency has also been criticized by opposition politicians for being unconstitutional, because they claim it is illegally supported by state assets.
However, the government has endeavored to promote the use of digital currency as an alternative to other currencies, in an attempt to support its sanction-affected economy.
Under the new scheme, car owners receive 120 liters per month at a rate of $ 0.02, while motorcyclists are entitled to 60 liters per month.
As a result, car owners can buy two full tanks for approximately $ 2.40 – equivalent to 37% of the country’s minimum wage.
The grant is available only to holders of a national identity card, a controversial scheme avoided by some Venezuelans who consider it a tool for totalitarian control of the population by the government.
To make things more complicated for consumers, the scheme does not accept payments through the Petro wallet application, the only wallet of its kind that supports digital currency. Instead, payment can be made only through the country’s “Patria” biometric payment system, which is not yet compatible with the application’s wallet.