The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has mandated that the Petro cryptocurrency be used for constructing affordable housing under the Great Housing Mission Venezuela. This Venezuelan initiative plans on building the most affordable homes in Latin America, with 4,740 houses already under construction and another 4,000 houses to be constructed using Petro funding.

This is not the first time that President Maduro has mandated that the Petro be used for official government functions. In October it was declared that worker’s salary bonuses would be paid with Petro, and also Maduro called for workers to invest their savings in Petro. In September 2018 it was mandated that passport fees be paid in Petro.

The likely reason for these mandates is in order to create demand for the Petro, so that it circulates as a currency. The Petro supposedly is backed by oil and a basket of precious metals, but cannot be traded for other cryptocurrencies, and is actually illegal in most of the world since the United States has sanctioned it. It is actually unclear how the Petro exactly works within Venezuela, and there is still no solid proof that it is truly a cryptocurrency.

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