According to the December 12 report of the Caracas Chronicles, an English-language political blog, Venezuela automatically converted pension payments into their national Petro oil cryptocurrency (PTR).
According to "Caracas Chronicles", recent payments to pensioners were initially received in Bolivars (Bs.S.) on pensioners' electronic wallets but were automatically withdrawn and converted to Petro. The blog reproduces the intended messages sent to retirees, thus: "MOTHERLAND WALLET: Bs.S. 1800.00 for the concept of pension benefits for the elderly (Christmas bonus for the third month of 2018) 07/12/2018. MOTHERLAND WALLET: DEBET for Bs.S. 1800.00 for the concept of savings in Petro 07/12/2018."
As of January 2017, retirees in Venezuela received their payments under the government’s "card of the homeland" scheme (carnet de la patria), which since January 2018 is connected to a mobile wallet (Billetera Móvil), which is accessed through the patria.org.ve government network.
The blog claims that citizens have become addicted to the carnet de la patria system. As this is access to much-needed retirement benefits and other social benefits. Thus, the government exerts pressure on citizens to "abandon their official banking system" and use the payment function of Petro’s wallets without resorting to the help of a bank.
Caracas Chronicles claims that the conversion of pension payments into Petro's cryptocurrency is an attempt by the state to ensure "full control over the finances of citizens" and force them to use Petro as a "defense" against hyperinflation, which the government "provokes".
The official sale of Petro in Venezuela began in November of this year, when several high-ranking officials, including Maduro, purchased it through the official website.
Editor: Alyona Nabok