Venezuela’s Guaidó Backs Bitcoin, Not Petro

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Venezuela's Guaidó Backs Bitcoin, Not Petro

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As Nicolás Maduro fights for survival, still refusing to relinquish power to would-be president Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s crypto community can at least be hopeful of saying goodbye to the hapless Petro under new leadership.

Guaidó’s self-proclamation as new interim president in Venezuela is recognized by major powers, including the United States and United Kingdom. Those hoping that a place for Bitcoin under a change of government are at least buoyed by the potential of a new leader who has been an outspoken promoter of Bitcoin over the past years.

In August 2014, he announced the launch of Bitcoin exchange Plataforma Sur Bitcoin, the first exchange allowing Venezuelans to buy Bitcoin using bolivars when they actually had value. Guaidó, who has been serving as President of the National Assembly of Venezuela since 5 January 2019, is no Petro enthusiast either.

While Bitcoin has been used to prop up areas of the country’s severely hyperinflated economy over the past few years, the national cryptocurrency, the Petro, was hailed as the legitimate panacea to Venezuela’s financial plight by Nicolas Maduro, but rarely seen.

It is estimated that if Maduro finally takes advice from his critics and hands over the reins to new leadership, Bitcoin transactions could soar under a cryptocurrency-friendly leadership over the next weeks as trading emerges from underground.

Currently, Maduro retains the support of Venezuela’s military forces, while Russia, China, Mexico, and Turkey are supporting the current regime, with Russia claiming that the installation of Guaidó violates international law.


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